Pernod Ricard’s and Cuba’s Havana Club rum: A stolen trademark and a stolen rum

Pernod Ricard continues to lash out at Bacardi for exposing their use of a stolen trademark. Unfortunately for them, their defense is as illegitimate as is their claim to the Havana Club name.

It is really quite simple: The Havana Club rum name and distilleries were stolen by the Castro dictatorship from its rightful owners. The Cuban regime turned around and sold the rights to the stolen name and distilleries to Pernod Ricard.

There is no amount of equivocation or obfuscation that will change that fact.

Via The Drinks Business:


This week, Bacardi defended itself against claims that its campaign is “misleading” accusing Pernod of having profited, along with the Cuban government, from a “stolen trademark”.

“Pernod Ricard and the Cuban dictatorship have perpetuated a lie since they began their collusion in 1993, and continue to do so today,” it read. “Since Pernod will not share the true story of Havana Club Rum with their consumers (and with the world), we will.

“In 1959, Cuba’s communist revolutionaries confiscated and nationalized the Havana Club distillery and exiled the Arechebala family, who created Havana Club in 1934. While the revolutionaries seized the distillery and trademark by force, they could not steal the recipe or the expertise that it took to produce Havana Club. That expertise left Cuba with the Arechebala family when they were exiled from their homeland. In 1994, Ramon Arechebala passed the Havana Club recipe and production techniques to the Bacardi Family – who are also Cuban exiles – so that they could preserve the legacy and allow the brand to live on.

“Cuba’s revolutionaries confiscated and nationalized many family businesses. They imprisoned those who resisted, and tortured those who opposed them. But they did not know how to produce or distribute rum. In 1993, the Cuban regime found a willing partner to help them profit from their stolen trademark –  French liquor conglomerate Pernod Ricard. Since then, the Cuban government and Pernod Ricard have generated millions of dollars by selling an imposter rum poured into a bottle and marketed under a stolen name.

“Unlike Pernod Ricard, the Bacardi and Arechebala families are not misleading consumers. Our Havana Club Rum is now proudly made in Puerto Rico. It is based on the original recipe and techniques that were used by the Arechebalas to make Havana Club in Cuba prior to the Cuban revolution. Our new marketing campaign affirms that, while our rum is now made in Puerto Rico, our heart and soul will be ‘Forever Cuban.’

“This is the story of Havana Club – this is our story. If Pernod Ricard wishes to tell their story, we are listening…”

Read the entire article HERE.

2 thoughts on “Pernod Ricard’s and Cuba’s Havana Club rum: A stolen trademark and a stolen rum”

  1. Yes, this is about as black-and-white as it gets, which gives a very good idea of the level of hijeputez of Pernod Ricard. It’s really amazing how crass greed can be.

  2. Pernod Ricard might as well come out and claim that, like all “oligarchs” in pre-Castro Cuba, the Arechabala family deserved to get robbed, which I’m sure would make perfect sense to the usual suspects. Yes, Pernod Ricard qualifies as an even bigger “oligarch,” but the French can always get a special dispensation of some sort–you know, like Coco Chanel and her Nazi connection.

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