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Club Med Named In Multi-Million Dollar Law Suit Citing Allegations of Receiving Profits By Operating Luxury Resort on Confiscated Cuban Beachfront

Miami, FL – July 6, 2004: A 95 year-old woman whose family owned a portion of the Varadero beachfront in Cuba before the Communist Revolution will file suit on Thursday, July 8, 2004, against the Paris-based Club Med resort chain for building and operating a luxury hotel on land she says the Castro regime attempted to confiscate in the 1960s. 

Elvira de la Vega Glen fled Cuba in the 1960s and became a U.S. citizen after coming to Miami.  She and her son Robert Glen will be filing suit in Miami federal court alleging that Club Med made millions of dollars by running the Club Med Varadero resort from 1997 until last year, when it was sold to Grupo Pinero, a Spanish hotel firm. The 337-room luxury resort was one of many destination hotels operated by Club Med as part of its $2 Billion per year world-wide network, which includes the Club Med Sandpiper resort in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. 

The Glen’s complaint alleges that Club Med was “unjustly enriched” in violation of Florida law by taking advantage of valuable confiscated property to build the luxury hotel. It also alleges that Club Med violated the federal “Trading with the Enemy Act,” and U.S. Department of Treasury regulations applicable to firms attempting to trade with the Cuban government, in violation of the economic embargo.  Club Med has previously been notified by the U.S. Department of State that it was being investigated for violations of U.S. law for operating the Varadero resort.

“My family could not believe that a respected company like Club Med would get so deeply involved with the Castro regime just to make money off of our land.  I was especially mad because Club Med spends so much energy trying to get my friends and neighbors to come to their resorts, both in Florida and the Caribbean.  They just can not have it both ways – either do business with Castro or with the United States, but not both!”

The Glens are represented by the Washington, D.C. law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP, which is known for its success in winning court suits and obtaining legislation from Congress on behalf of Americans who have been victims of state-sponsored terrorism.

Local counsel is the Miami-based firm of Podhurst Orseck, which represented the families of the Americans, shot down and killed by the Cuban Air Force on a humanitarian mission for the group “Brothers to the Rescue”.

Crowell & Moring LLP is a multi-practice law firm with more than 300 attorneys committed to solving legal problems and providing business solutions efficiently and effectively for our clients, which include Fortune 100 companies and multinational corporations across a range of industries. Our practices include antitrust counseling and litigation, government contracts, intellectual property transactions and litigation, healthcare law and large-scale litigation, particularly in the area of torts and product liability. Based in Washington, DC, the firm also has offices in Brussels, California and London.


An Pham
Senior Communications Manager