Friday, December 2, 2016
The improved relations prompted Pernod Ricard, owners the international rights to Cuban-made Havana Club to present a bid to launch the brand here in the United States market. Bacardi, which owns Puerto Rico made Havana Club rum has had the process tied up in court based on trademark ownership for many years. Things were looking very hopeful for Americans to be able to enjoy many of the Cuban rums here in the states soon, but following Fidel Castro's passing, this looks to be in serious doubt.
Following the death of Fidel Castro, who governed Cuba with an iron hand for nearly sixty years, Trump has threatened to reinstate sanctions on Cuba that had been lifted by Obama. The Havana Club trademark battle between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi Limited could be set for a new twist as United States president-elect Donald Trump threatens to freeze US-Cuba relations again. On Monday, Trump tweeted that he would “terminate” the deal unless Cuba agrees to “make a better” one. “If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal,” he stated on his Tweeter page. Trump has threatened to reverse the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba before. At a speech in Miami on September 16, 2016, he stated that "all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that is what I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands."
Re-imposing sanctions by the Trump administration will effectively block the bid to launch Pernod Ricard’s Cuban-made Havana Club in the US market. Pernod Ricard says that they hope the new United States leadership will continue to build bridges between Cuba and the United States. This is an issue that bears watching as the administration change begins to go into effect.