Spanish Co. Denies Reports of Sonic Attacks at Capri Hotel in Havana

It didn’t receive any complaints.

By Guillermo Nova (dpa)

The Hotel Capri in Havana, run by the Spanish NH chain.

HAVANA TIMES — The Spanish chain NH, owner of the Capri Hotel, has stated that it didn’t receive any complaints from clients with regard to the alleged sonic attacks that US diplomats based on the island suffered.

“We haven’t received any complaints from any clients,” Ramon Aragones, the CEO of the Spanish NH hotel chain, told dpa.

Washington reported more than 20 of its diplomatic personnel stationed in Havana had suffered alleged “sonic attacks” in their official homes. Some US media outlets also signaled out the NH Capri Hotel in Havana as one of the places these mysterious attacks targeted US citizens.

“We receive over 600,000 comments from all of our hotels per year, on different platforms and we analyze every single one of them,” Aragones pointed out who says “they haven’t had a single complaint of this nature.”

“I don’t exactly know what kind of system is being used to target people, but I understand that it can’t be so selective that it only affects US citizens. It would affect every client, wouldn’t it?” the CEO of the NH hotel chain said in an interview with dpa news agency.

The mysterious attacks supposedly caused nausea, dizziness and hearing loss among other symptoms in US diplomats.

The United States hasn’t directly blamed Cuba of perpetrating these attacks but it has made them responsible for not protecting diplomatic personnel as set forth in the Vienna Convention.

The Cuban government has denied playing any part in these incidents and has cast doubt over just how true these “sonic attack” allegations are.

Only a quarter of the NH Capri Hotel in Havana’s clientele is from the US. “The diversity of our clientele base has led us not to depend so much on the US market,” Eduardo Bosch, the Americas director at the NH Hotel Group, told dpa.

Ever since Donald Trump has entered the White House, the US president has had a strong anti-Castro dialogue and has stopped the rapprochement process (driven by his predecessor Barack Obama) in its tracks, although he hasn’t broken diplomatic ties altogether yet.

Hurting Cuba’s tourism industry is one of Trump’s main targets as it is crucial to the island’s economy. Last June, he announced stricter traveling regulations for US citizens wanting to travel to the island, who can no longer go individually as people-to-people visitors but can still travel for cultural, academic or religious motives, among others.

“Not everybody thinks the same in the United States, and so it will depend a lot on the people’s own ideology,” Ramon Aragones highlights, who doesn’t consider the US market to weigh heavily for his hotel chain and that in spite of problems, people from that country will continue to visit the island although numbers will reduce.

Among Trump’s measures against the Cuban economy there is also the ban on US companies from doing business with companies managed by Cuba’s Armed Forces.

On the list of nearly 180 Cuban companies that it is forbidden to do business with, main hotel chains in Cuban such as the Gaviota Group can be found, which has over 29,000 rooms distributed between 62 hotels across the country.

“Some of Havana’s hotels went big for US tourism and now they have a problem,” Aragones said.

The NH Capri Hotel is managed by the NH Group but belongs to the Cuban Gran Caribe chain, which isn’t included on the list of banned companies by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.

  • CAPTCURLY

    Just another way to stop the Cuban people from trying to build a better life for themselves. Trump is in bed with the Miami Mafia, Dias Balart, Rubio, Cuebelo and the rest of big money Cuban families.

    • Hans Frankfort

      I’ve always suspected that the sonic attacks were an inside job by the Trump regime to undo everything that Obama accomplished. Indeed, Trump has been lying in bed with the Miami clique with the help of little Marco. The sooner Trump is impeached, the better! The only way we can help Cubans wean away from Communism is to do away with the embargo and then shower them with business opportunities, increase people to people contact both ways across the Florida Strait, and above all inject fresh ideas to improve their lives. At this time they have too much government looking over their shoulders! It’s like helicopter parenting over a child denying him/her to lead an independent life.

    • Kennedy Earle Clarke

      This modus operandi is against the UN CHarter, but only the small leader can be villified and crucified by the Security Council! What a shame on the World Body?

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      The first necessity to enable the Cuban people to build a better life for themselves is the end of Communist dictatorship. It isn’t even possible to obtain a new business licence. That has nothing to do with Trump(f) but is entirely the policy of the Castro regime.

  • Eden Wong

    Could this situation get any more silly and absurd?

    Too funny…

  • John Saynor

    Well, at the risk of being targeted by sonic attacks while I am in Cuba this winter, I have to say that the present administration in the US will do anything or say anything to discredit Cuba! After the 9/11 attacks in the US, I was discussing terrorism with a Cuban friend of mine and I will never forget when he said, “Well, John, it depends what side of the border you are who the terrorists are!” No question where the greatest collection of terrorist for Cuba live….’nuf said

    • Lori Garcia

      Bravo

  • Mike McClanahan

    It is certainly too bad that the US President thinks that by hurting the tourist industry he can influence the government. The best thing he could do would be to assist the casa particulares and paladores as this is where the Cuban people will benefit the most without providing funds to the government. The Cuban people have done nothing against the US other than wonder what our problem is.

    • Lori Garcia

      Excellent

    • Eric Wold

      Exactly

    • Michael Ritchie

      Not sure that US govt is aware, but casa particulares are carefully scrutinized by Cuban govt. And that govt takes a percentage of the rental. It can run as high as 30 percent of the rental.
      Those complying (and it’s particularly dangerous not to), must maintain logs of those renting, including passport numbers. Members of the CDR supply info to the govt overseers and often will visit while a guest is present to verify information.
      It’s not easy to escape paying the Cuban govt.

      • Eden Wong

        “… It can run as high as 30 percent of the rental…”

        That’s old, out-of-date info. Taxes on casas are rock bottom now and have been for ages.

      • Eden Wong

        1.) “… casa particulares are carefully scrutinized by Cuban govt…”

        Same as legal lodging almost anywhere.

        2.) “… And that govt takes a percentage of the rental…”

        Same as legal lodging almost anywhere.

        3.) “… It can run as high as 30 percent of the rental…”

        Absolutely false.

        4.) “… Those complying (and it’s particularly dangerous not to), must maintain logs of those renting, including passport numbers…”

        Same as legal lodging almost anywhere. Honestly, when is the last time you rented a hotel anywhere on the planet with no identification?!

        5.) “… It’s not easy to escape paying the Cuban govt…”

        Same as legal lodging almost anywhere. Taxes are ubiquitous on Planet Earth. When you find a place where they’re not please let us know. Thanks.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Whereas I agree with you Mike that the Cuban people have done nothing against the US, the same cannot be said of the Castro regime which unfortunately holds power and control over the Cuban people. May I advise reading the US Cuban Democracy Act to better assess the US reasoning.
      I am not saying I agree with US current policies, but let us all recall that President Obama during his visit to Cuba twice stated that maybe the time had come to discuss lifting the embargo and Guantanamo, but that in discussion there would have to be some reciprocation. That sensible diplomatic suggestion was rejected flat out in a letter published in ‘Granma’ the official journal of the Communist Party of Cuba and purported to be written by Fidel Castro, seven days later. The following day (eight days after the Obama approach) that was backed up by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez stating that there would be no reciprocation. It is unfortunate that the Castro regime rejected the first real diplomatic opportunity offered in fifty seven years, but the constipated Marxist thinking of the Castro regime was reflected. No doubt now they realise that they boobed!
      I agree with Michael Ritchie’s assessment given about casa particulars and the CDR.

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    …..and the answer is………the same that happened to Mr. Takmakjian! Mr. Aragones must take care not to pay any employee of the regime working at the hotel any addition to that paid by the state and avoid giving a Christmas party with presents for guests!