The Bacardi rum company is one of the most successful and recognisable brands in the world. It spends millions on marketing itself as the spirit of youth and vitality. But behind its image as a party drink lies a very different story.
In this book, investigative journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina brings to light the commercial and political activities of the Bacardi empire to reveal its role in fostering the 40-year long confrontation between the United States and the revolutionary government of Cuba. Through meticulous research, Ospina reveals how directors and shareholders of the family-owned firm have aggressively worked to undermine the Castro government. He explores how they have been implicated in supporting paramilitary organisations that have carried out terrorist attacks, and reveals their links to the extreme right-wing Cuban-American Foundation that supported Ronald Reagan's Contra war in Nicaragua.
Bacardi: The Hidden War explains the company's hand in promoting 'special interest' legislation against its competitor, Havana Club Rum, which is manufactured in Cuba and promoted by the European company Pernod-Ricard. Ospina reveals the implications of Bacardi's involvement in this growing dispute that threatens to create a trade war between America and Europe. Exploring the Bacardi empire's links to the CIA, as well as its inside links with the Bush administration, this fascinating account shows how multinational companies act for political as well as economic interests.
Hernando Calvo Ospina is a Colombian investigative journalist who specialised in the anti-Castro movement. He is the author of Bacardi: The Hidden War (Pluto, 2002) and co-author of The Cuban Exile Movement: Dissidents or Mercenaries? (Ocean Press, 2000). He lives in France.
Foreword by James Petras By Way Of Introduction 1. The Bacardi-Bouteiller company 2. Expansion and prelude to departure 3. Bacardi leaves before the Revolution 4. The CIA, the businessman and the terrorists 5. From violence to the lobby 6. Reagan breeds a monster 7. CANF and The Shareholders 8. Two wars and their accomplices 9. The Torricelli-Graham Act 10. The Absurd. The Helms-Burton Act 11. `The Bacardi Claims Act' 12. Market `wars' 13. More than a rum war' 14. Cuba's transition and `reconstruction' Postscript Appendix 1: Diagrams Appendix 2: Photos And Documents. Appendix 3: Photos And Documents. About The Cuba Solidarity Campaign Notes Index