Trump name stripped from Panama hotel

Posted March 07, 2018

The lengthy standoff between the Trump Organization and a Panamanian hotel owner came to an end Monday.

During a press conference, Fintiklis seemed confident he had won the legal battle against the Trump Organization.

For more than a week, Trump's hotel business staved off efforts by Fintiklis and his allies to gain control of the property, with rival security teams skirmishing over physical control of key infrastructure.

Originally, Fintiklis, and other hotel unit owners, complained that the president's vast unpopularity in Latin America was responsible for the 70-story property's decline in revenue.

The legal battle began last month when Mr Fintiklis said he meant to force the Trump Organization out before its management contract was up, and to rebrand the hotel.

The dispute broke out into the open last week when Orestes Fintiklis, the majority owner of the hotel, arrived in the lobby of the building with associates. Trump security officials exited the property on their own accord, leaving the hotel's administrative office vacant. The dispute between Fintiklis and the Trump staff has not only decimated occupancy rates at the hotel - once considered one of Ivanka's foremost projects - but threatened to become a spiraling controversy that could engulf the White House.

And as the final humiliation, Fintiklis ordered Trump's name to be ripped off from the outside of the hotel - check out ABC News' video footage of Trump's name being torn down below.

The Trump organization said Fintiklis resorted to "mob style tactics" by repeatedly attempting to "infiltrate and disrupt its computer systems and threatening and intimidating any employee of the Hotel that resisted".

However, it remains unclear exactly what kind of victory Fintiklis had claimed. A representative of the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Today, Panama has showcased stable institutions, rule of law and investor-friendly legal framework", Fintiklis said in a brief statement to the press. With a 2017 report from Global Witness noting that the building had laundered "proceeds from Colombian cartels' narcotics trafficking", making Trump "one of the beneficiaries" of such laundering, questions continue to pile about what the president and his family knew about the money laundering swamping the property.

Mr. Fintiklis, a Cypriot citizen, then strode to the lobby's baby grand piano and played and sang "Accordeon", a popular Greek song about the fight against fascism.

Trump Organization employees were evicted from the Ocean Club Trump Hotel in Panama and the Trump name was removed from the front of the building on Monday.