A worker with a crowbar on Monday pried the word “Trump” from the sign in front of the only Trump-branded hotel in Latin America, after the building’s owner said he’d won a legal fight to take control of it. The removal of the Trump name from the Trump International Hotel Panama came after a days-long standoff between the majority owner, Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis, and the US president’s company.
But the building’s future remained uncertain: The Trump Organization said it could still retake control of the hotel.
Fintiklis had sought to fire the Trump Organization — which has a management contract running through 2031 — because he blames the company and the Trump brand for poor revenue. The Trump Organization had refused to leave. There followed 10 days of confrontations, including shoving matches, a power outage and several appearances by police.
On Monday, a Panamanian legal official visited the hotel with an escort of 15 police officers. After a long session in a back room, the legal official left without comment.
The legal dispute involving Trump’s company was expected to continue, but Monday’s developments meant that Trump had effectively surrendered physical control of the property.
“This was purely a commercial dispute that just spun out of control,” said Orestes Fintiklis, a private equity investor and the head of the hotel’s owners’ association, shortly before entering the hotel management’s offices. “And today this dispute has been settled by the authorities and the judges of this country,” washingtonpost noes.
Fintiklis celebrated the victory against the Trumps and played “Accordeon” on the hotel lobby’s piano, a popular Greek song by Manos Loizos about the fight against fascism.
Majority owner of Trump Hotel in Panama declares victory against the Trumps in struggle for the property’s control and plays a victory anthem on the hotel lobby’s piano: “Accordeon,” a popular Greek song about the fight against fascism pic.twitter.com/jS5Zp4cp3M
— Kirk Semple (@KirkSemple) March 5, 2018
Thumbnail pict via dailykos.com