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Posted March 05, 2006 by publisher in US Embargo

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Mexico City authorities lifted a closure order on a Sheraton hotel on Wednesday, a day after they demanded it shut in a dispute over the U.S.-ordered expulsion of a group of Cubans meeting there.

“We are confident that in these few hours the hotel has rectified practically all the irregularities,” city official Virginia Jaramillo told reporters after hotel managers met with government officials and the local American Chamber of Commerce.
Mexico City authorities slapped “closed” stickers on the hotel on Tuesday on the grounds it breached safety and licensing laws, but the Sheraton remained open, arguing it could not kick out its 550 guests with no warning.

The move came after the Sheraton, on the capital’s Reforma Avenue, angered Mexican officials last month by obeying orders from Washington to throw out a group of Cuban officials because of the U.S. embargo on the communist-run island. Sheraton is owned by a U.S.-based company, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

The 755-room hotel, which overlooks the towering Angel of Independence monument, said it threw the Cubans out on the orders of the U.S. Treasury Department, cutting short an energy conference hosted by the U.S.-Cuba Trade Association.

Mexican officials said the country's sovereignty had been abused and deployed a team of inspectors who reported the hotel had carried out unauthorized construction work and lacked bar licenses, parking spaces and emergency exits.

Osvaldo Librizzi, Starwood's Latin American president, said the hotel would comply with all the inspectors' demands.

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