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Wed Mar 28, 2018, 10:29 PM

Much More Than a Struggle Over a Brand of Rum [View all]

MARCH 28, 2018
Much More Than a Struggle Over a Brand of Rum
by MANUEL E. YEPE

The arguments that have been taking place for years between the French corporation Pernod Ricard and the U.S.-based Bacardi company since shortly after the triumph of the revolution in Cuba are rooted in political realities that far outstrip the apparent battle for the Bacardi and Havana Club rum brands that have lasted for more than half a century.

The controversy derives from the fact that the Cuban popular victory of 1959, which led to the revolution in power on the island, was followed by, among other popular demands, the inescapable commitments made by the rebels to the people. These included agrarian reform, the literacy campaign, the urban reform, the nationalization of public energy, water, and communications services, and the large industries. The government of the revolution set out to agree mutually satisfactory compensatory solutions with those affected and succeeded in almost all cases.

The then-owners of the Bacardi rum company skillfully managed to register the firm in Bermuda and prepared to resist nationalization. They took the documents and individuals of some of the company’s directors from Cuba. But they were unable to extract the talent and the century-old expertise and inventiveness of the humble teachers and other workers who have made the product of their efforts famous. Neither do the characteristics of water, climate, and other irreplaceable elements.

Then there followed an extensive period of legal disputes in which shipments of the original Bacardi rum from Cuba were systematically confiscated for claims that the counterfeiters were making progress, often through bribes and always supported by pressure from Washington.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/28/much-more-than-a-struggle-over-a-brand-of-rum/

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Judi Lynn Mar 2018 OP
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