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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Stands With Bacardi, Against Obama and Castro Company on Havana Club Trademark

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., weighed in on Friday over the Obama administration giving the Havana Club trademark license to Cubaexport, which is tied to the Castro regime, despite the objections of Bacardi, an American company. 

“The latest round of Cuba regulation changes by the Obama administration is another pathetic attempt to prop up the Castro regime and ignore U.S. law. Contrary to the false narrative that the White House tries to spin, these changes are aimed at helping Castro’s business monopolies, not the Cuban people,” Ros-Lehtinen said.  “Just like the Obama administration helped Iran achieve legitimacy on the world stage, it is using the same playbook to confer legitimacy on the Cuban regime. Now, communist dictator Raul Castro is going on his own trip to France trying to secure more funds for his murderous dictatorship due to the good housekeeping seal of approval conferred by President Obama.  It is not a coincidence that Castro’s trip to France comes immediately after the Obama administration revived an expired trademark registration by granting an OFAC license to Castro’s Cubaexport, which is attempting to obtain rights in a trademark stolen by the Cuban regime and used in a joint venture with a French company named Pernod Ricard. This example concerning the Havana Club trademark, which Bacardi purchased from the original and rightful Cuban family owners, illustrates how far the White House will go to appease the dictatorship. Castro's Cuba has no respect for trademark rights or property, yet the Obama administration sided with the communist regime over the legitimate concerns of a U.S. business, which should give companies a reality check on doing business with the Castro brothers.

“The Obama administration has announced three rounds of regulatory changes in addition to many other concessions, yet it has not held the Castro regime accountable in regards to confiscated properties, human rights, economic freedoms, and civil liberties,” Ros-Lehtinen added. “President Obama has failed time and time when presented with the choice of supporting liberty or the Castro regime. This policy will not allow open markets and any investments will not reach the Cuban people as evidenced by decades operating under the same decrepit economic system.  The White House continues to send a very dangerous message to all freedom loving people throughout our hemisphere by continuing to actively support the nefarious activities of the Castro regime.”

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