Did anybody tell Rep. Pelosi about the hotel that she stayed in Cuba?
We understand that Nancy Pelosi is married to a very successful businessman in California. We are very happy that the Pelosi family has enjoyed the fruits of capitalism. Of course, they've enjoyed those fruits because they live in a country that respects property rights and does not confiscate businesses.
This week, Rep Pelosi went to Cuba and stayed at the Hotel Saratoga. Let me share this from our good friends at Capitol Hill Cubans:
"The Hotel Saratoga is a beautiful neoclassical structure in Old Havana. It was purchased in 1939 by Blanco Lopez and Co., headed by Jose Blanco and Jose Lopez Blanco, who were also leaders of the Association of Cuban Hotels.
In 1959, The Hotel Saratoga was confiscated by the Castro regime.
Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Castro saw European and Canadian tourism as a means to salvage his dictatorship. Thus, he began seducing foreign investors to invest -- in minority partnerships with the Castro regime -- in order to reconstruct the island's hotels.
In 1999, a British company, Coral Capital Group Ltd., entered into a minority partnership with the Castro regime to transform (a then-dilapidated) Hotel Saratoga into a chic, modern, 5-star property.
Coral Capital invested over $75 million in its partnership with Castro.
In 2005, the Hotel Saratoga reopened as the swankiest hotel in Havana.
But, as always, Castro got greedy and wanted it all for himself.
Thus, in 2011, Castro confiscated Coral Capital's minority stake in the Hotel Saratoga.
And for giggles, he had Coral Capital's two senior executives in Cuba, Amado Fahkre and Stephen Purvis, imprisoned in the notorious torture facility known as Villa Marista (akin to Moscow's infamous Lubyanka).
Fahkre and Purvis spent nearly two years arbitrarily imprisoned, had all their assets confiscated and were finally expelled to Britain.
Purvis told The Telegraph about his experience as Castro's prisoner (after having been one of his biggest foreign investors):
“They decide absolutely everything about your life, even personal grooming. The idea is to separate you from your personal identity, so you lose a sense of who you are. Several inmates who passed through my cell during my time went cuckoo, and there was an attempted suicide about once a month. You’d be trying to sleep at night and suddenly there’d be this terrible wail from some other cell.”
As Pelosi and her delegation enjoy their comfortable nights at the twice-confiscated Hotel Saratoga -- embracing and promoting business with totalitarian thieves -- they should reflect on the wails from nearby Villa Marista."
Hope that she enjoyed the coffee and the view of the ocean. In reality, Nancy Pelosi is rather lucky that Mr Pelosi did not own a business in Cuba. Otherwise, she and her husband would have been among the thousands who had their property confiscated without compensation.
Of course, who cares about that? I'm sure that Mrs Pelosi enjoyed the coffee and will tell us that the Cuban health care provides for free abortions.