PRESS RELEASE: Prominent Cubans appeal to Meliá, Iberostar, Kempinski, NH Hotel Group and other hotel chains to set aside empty rooms in their hotels in Cuba for families fleeing Hurricane Ian.

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate distribution

Prominent Cubans appeal to Meliá, Iberostar, The Kempinski Hotel Chain, NH Hotel Group and other hotel chains to set aside empty rooms in their hotels in Cuba for families fleeing Hurricane Ian.

Contact: John Suarez

Phone: (612) 367-6845 E-mail: john.suarez@cubacenter.org

Center for a Free Cuba. September 26, 2022. Washington DC. In an urgent appeal sent out today, a number of prominent Cuban Americans asked the chairmen of Meliá Hotels International, Iberostar, Kempinski, NH Hotel Group and other foreign hotel chains operating in Cuba to “make room for Cuban families, most of them with children, who will be left destitute and homeless as a result of Ian.”

Carlos Eire, distinguished History Professor at Yale University; Rosa María Payá, founder and director, CubaDecide and Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana, Modesto Maidique, former president of Florida International University, and the Reverend Jose Conrado, of the Parish of Trinidad in Cuba, led the appeal.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the Category 4 storm with winds of over 150 miles per hour, will impact on Cuba’s western provinces after midnight.

Most Cuban dwellings are ill prepared for a hurricane of this magnitude due to lack of maintenance during the last sixty years.

Also signing the petition are Paquito D’Rivera, composer, author, world-renown saxophonist and Grammy Award winner; Sebastian Arcos at Florida International University’s Department of Latin American Studies; feminist author Ileana Fuentes, and John Suarez, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

The storm coincides with widespread food shortages, and a dengue epidemic. The United States has reported that, according to Customs and Border Protection, more than 175,000 Cubans have crossed the southwest border in the first eight months of 2022.

A copy of the petition follows.

September 26, 2022

Bernold Schroeder, The Kempinski Hotel Chain, Austria

Miguel Fluxá Roselló, Iberostar, Spain

André P. Gerondeau, Meliá Hotels International, Spain

Ramón Aragonés, NH Hotel Group, Spain

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are writing about a developing tragedy in Cuba: the Island is currently suffering the impact of Hurricane Ian. We urge you to help the Cuban people by setting aside half of the empty rooms in your various hotels in the Island to provide refuge to families, many of them with children, who will be impacted by this Category 4 storm.

Thanking you in advance for your corporate responsibility and for your favorable response to our humanitarian request.

Sincerely,

Dr. Carlos Eire, Professor, Yale University

Dr. Modesto Maidique, Former President, Florida International University

Reverend José Conrado, Parish of Trinidad, Cuba

Paquito D’Rivera, composer, author, world-renown Grammy Award saxophonist

Rosa María Payá, founder and director, CubaDecide and Fundación para la Democracia Panamericana

Victor J. Pujals, P.E.

Sebastián Arcos, Florida International University

Ileana Fuentes, feminist author

John Suárez, Center for a Free Cuba