Bacardi: Pernod Marketing an ‘Imposter Rum Under a Stolen Name’

The spat between Bacardi Ltd. and Pernod Ricard over Havana Club Rum just got nastier.

In response to claims from Pernod Ricard that the new Havana Club rum “Forever Cuban” is misleading, Bacardi issued a statement asserting that “Pernod Ricard and the Cuban dictatorship have perpetuated a lie since they began their collusion in 1993, and continue to do so today.”

“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.”

The statement goes on to say that in 1993 – that’s one year before Ramon Arechebala passed the recipe to Bacardi — the Cuban regime, which didn’t know to how produce or distribute rum “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.’”

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