Bacardi: The Hidden War
OverviewThe Bacardi rum company is one of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world. In this book, investigative journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina takes a critical look at the commercial and political activities of the Bacardi empire to reveal the extent of its power in Washington and abroad, and the role it has played in a burgeoning trade war between America and Europe. Bacardi was partly based in Cuba, until Fidel Castro nationalized their property. Since then they have worked aggressively to set up new trade laws to increase their monopoly on the market. Bacardi's main competitor is Havana Club rum, which is partly manufactured in Cuba and marketed by the European company Pernod-Ricard. Represented by a team of lawyers that includes Otto Reich, George W. Bush's chosen appointee for the post of Latin American Affairs advisor, Bacardi were heavily involved in writing new trade laws that mean brand names registered in Cuba are no longer recognized in the US. This means Perdon-Ricard's Havana Club rum is no longer protected in the US, something which the European Union argues is a blatant infringement of fair trading laws, and which flouts the principles governing intellectual property rights law. Ospina explains the implications of Bacardi's involvement in the growing dispute, reveals how the EU has complained to the WTO, and how Bacardi is currently under investigation by the Office of Fair Trading. Exploring the Bacardi empire's close links to the CIA, and the extreme right-wing National Cuban-American Foundation, as well as its inside links with the Bush administration, this fascinating and readable account shows how multinational companies act for political as well as economic interests.
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