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Cuban rum gets help to beat U.S. trade sanctions

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Cuban rum gets help to beat U.S. trade sanctions

Cuban rum gets help to beat U.S. trade sanctions

A subsidiary of European drinks giant Diageo is teaming up with a Cuban state-owned distillery to market its rum worldwide, in defiance of U.S. moves to tighten sanctions on the island state.

Julian Satterthwaite reports.

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Cuban rum gets help to beat U.S. trade sanctions

Rum, made the way it always has been in Havana.

But now this Cuban liquor is headed for global markets, much to Washington's displeasure.

A subsidiary of European drinks giant Diageo has teamed up with state-run distillery Cuba Ron.

Together they will market its Santiago de Cuba rum - considered the island's best by locals.

That's in defiance of tightening U.S. sanctions.

Back in May, Donald Trump enabled U.S. citizens to bring lawsuits against companies profiting from property taken from them after Cuba's 1959 revolution.

The provision of the so-called Helms Burton Act had been suspended by previous U.S. presidents.

Santiago rum is made by a once privately-owned distillery that was nationalised.

But the joint venture with Diageo aims to sidestep trouble: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) GENERAL DIRECTOR OF JOINT VENTURE FOR RON SANTIAGO S.A., LUCA CESARANO, SAYING: "The Diageo subsidiary that is part of this business and the joint venture will not work or interact with any company in the Diageo group which operates in, is based in, or registered in the United States." Santiago de Cuba will rival Havana Club, marketed by France's Pernod Ricard under a similar arrangement.

But U.S. drinkers with a taste for rum will have to head overseas to get a drop of Cuba's latest export.




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