Bacardi President, Joaquin Bacardi, has announced that the Bermuda-based rum giant will seek to resume partial production activities in Cuba after an absence of over fifty years from the companys original home. Upon being expelled from Cuba following the Fidel Castro-led revolution of 1959, Bacardi set up its headquarters in Bermuda, as well as a distillery in Puerto Rico and several corporate offices in Miami.
As of now, Bacardi has maintained that the initiative will only consist of a partial transference of production capacities to the still Communist-controlled island.
Company President Bacardi was quoted telling the just-drinks.com website that: We have a lot of (distilling) assets around the world. Its going to take a balance between what products should come out of Cuba and what products should come from our existing facilities there will likely be a combination of those.
In other words, the new initiative by the company is widely seen as a shift back to the companys roots, with the hopes that the embargo will be lifted in the near future so that greater production responsibilities will be placed on Cuban facilities.
How would Bacardi reestablish production?
Bacardi has suggested that the company will seek to re-establish production in the same facilities that the company utilized in the island during the 50s, prior to the revolution and the companys subsequent expulsion from the island.
As he explained in his online interview with just-drinks.com, We are hopeful that the facilities that exist in Cuba will be returned to us. We have all the documentation to prove that property is ours. Because that property has been abandoned for so many years although it is being operated to produce other rums we know that the conditions of that operation are very poor; they dont maintain it very well. So, its going to require a significant capital investment.
The Cuban Communist regime currently regulates the production of rum in the island though the Cuba Ron unit.
But as Olly Wehring of just-drinks.com goes on to report, the Cuba Ron unit, jointly owns and produces the Havana Club rum brand in the country with Pernod Ricard. The two spirits companies have been in long-running legal disagreement over the Havana Club trademark, with Bacardi selling a rum by the same name in Florida. Pernod and Cuba Ron own the trademark in almost all markets outside the US.
Bacardi will seek to capitalize on the ongoing legal dispute between these two rum-producers in order to re-establish its presence in the island with the hope of one-day re-instituting Cuba as one of the primary bases in the companys global operations.