After 10 days of physical altercations, a power outage, and police intervention involving a handcuffed guard, the name “Trump” was pried from the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, Panama on Monday.
This makes the third hotel to remove the president’s name from its facade since Inauguration Day last year.
It all started when Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis bought 202 of the hotel’s 369 rooms last year, assumed control of the hotel’s condominium owners’ association, and proceeded to attempt to evict the Trump Organization for mismanagement.
Earlier this year, Fintiklis wrote in a letter to other room owners:
“We are ALL losing money and it is getting worse. The only ill-deserved winner here is the [Trump Organization] who continues to clip management fees whilst our hotel is driven into the ground. [The Trump Organization] continues to attach to our property like a leach, draining our last drops of blood.”
Late last month, Fintiklis attempted to confront Trump Organization officials at the hotel in person only to be refused entry.
For over a week, Trump Organization officials staved off Fintiklis and his allies. Rival security teams fought–sometimes physically–for control of the administrative offices and closed caption security system located in the condo association. Associated Press-obtained footage of the encounter shows Trump security officials shoving a condo owners’ association representative and a brawl between security guards in a stairwell.
This ended only when the owners’ association facilities director was allegedly placed in a choke hold. Police arrived–for the fourth time that week–and handcuffed and removed a Trump guard refusing them access to the room.
On Monday, a Panamanian court approved the eviction. Over a dozen police officers in bulletproof vests arrived to enforce it.
Fintiklis told reporters:
“Today, this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities of this country.”
He then proceeded to the piano in the hotel lobby to perform the traditional Greek anti-fascist anthem, “Accordeon.”
Reporters saw some employees relinquishing their Trump credentials.
The Trump Organization, of course, refuses to concede to defeat.
Executive vice president, Alan Garten, said in a statement:
“To date, there has been absolutely no determination whatsoever by any court or other tribunal as to the status [of the hotel].”
Donald Trump continues to insist he surrendered control of his businesses, including the Panama hotel, when he became president, but he still owns them.
Trump reported in his last financial disclosures his company made around $810,000 in management fees from the Panama hotel in the preceding 15 months.
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