Expedia and Hotelbeds fined for violating Cuba embargo

Expedia may have violated the Cuban Asset Control Regulations, the main mechanism for enforcing the economic embargo on the Caribbean island

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Expedia has paid more than $325,000 for violating the Cuba embargo dating back to before travel restrictions were originally eased by the Obama administration.


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The company ‘failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution’ to avoid breaching anti-Cuba sanctions, a U.S. Department of the Treasury report said.

It said that between April 2011 and October 2014, Expedia facilitated travel for more than 2,000 people to travel to Cuba from a third country, including for Cuban nationals. It related mostly to Expedia subsidiaries.

The Treasury Department said that after acquiring a foreign travel company, Expedia did not tell the firm for 15 months that it was subject to US laws.

It acknowledged that Expedia itself disclosed the violations when it became aware and took measures to beef up its compliance of US economic sanctions.

The Treasury also handed down fines to the US division of Hotelbeds Group, which agreed to pay a $222,705 settlement, and Cubasphere Inc. which settled for $40,320.

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