In a move which Eduardo Sanchez, general counsel for Bacardi called, “unprecedented, sudden, and silent,” the US government has decided to allow Cuba to sell its Havana Club rum in America as soon as the US trade embargo on Cuba comes to an end.
One month ago the United States renewed on behalf of the Cuba-owned company Cubaexpoert its use of the Havana Club trademark. The two parties, Bacardi and Cubaexport, have been mired in court for almost 20 years over who has rights to the trademark.
Since the 1990s Bacardi has been selling its own brand of Havana Club rum. It is distilled in Puerto Rico and sold in the United States. In the rest of the world Cubaexport is the owner of the trademark.
Last Monday Bacardi said in a statement that it filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Department of Treasury concerning the renewal of the trademark, which Bacardi says is against the “language and spirit if US law.”