Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rum Wars & Rum Diary's

New Diageo Corporation  St. Croix Distillery
     The up and coming Johnny Depp movie "The Rum Diary" and the ongoing "Rum Wars" are bringing a lot of attention to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.    This war seemed to start when St. Croix offered Diageo Corporation some 2.7 Billion Dollars of incentives over thirty years to move the lucrative Captain Morgan Contract from Serrales Distillery in Ponce, Puerto Rico to St. Croix.     This money comes from the rebate of rum import taxes collected in the United States.    It seems that this move is costing the Puerto Ricans billions in revenue loss from the rum import refunds.

Donna Christensen
Pedro Pierluisi
     It seems that the wars are heating up again with the introduction of the "Investing in U.S. Territories, Not Corporations Act of 2011" introduced in the House by Puerto Rico's Pedro Pierluisi. and a parallel Senate Bill by Robert Menendez a Democrat from New Jersey.   Virgin Islands Delegate Donna Christensen that she had been expecting this bill for weeks.   Christensen said the bill was similar to one rejected a year ago , but this one contains points that are even more objectionable.      These bills are trying to limit the way the "Rum Cover Program refund monies are to be spent.     Christensen says the "While we are still evaluating the ramifications of this proposal, I can say on first review that it still is an attempt of one territory to dictate how the other achieves economic development and utilizes it own funding."

     This seems to be as really bitter battle between the territories and one that doesn't look like it is going to be resolved without some bruised feelings and pocketbooks.

Johnny Depp in "The Rum Diary"
     Meanwhile there is a new movie starring Johnny Depp, called " The Rum Diary", based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson.    The story is based in Puerto Rico and is the story of a 1950's ex patriot American newspaperman who is down and out, working for a small-time Caribbean newspaper.