STATEMENT BY H.E. MRS. ANAYANSI RODRIGUEZ CAMEJO, AMBASSADOR PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA
AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN SWITZERLAND, AT THE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY OF THE WTO ON SECTION 211. AUGUST 31, 2015
STATEMENT BY H.E. MRS. ANAYANSI RODRIGUEZ CAMEJO, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN GENEVA AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN SWITZERLAND, AT THE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY OF THE WTO ON SECTION 211. August 31, 2015
A recent newspaper article described the Havana Club rum manufacturing wineries and distillery, located in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba. The rum is aged naturally in soft oak barrels. The climate and the island soils of Cuba provide sugar cane and molasses, which together with the expertise of our master rum makers, gave to the Cuban popular product, a very unique flavor.
As explained in the Cuban encyclopedia EcuRed, the Havana Club Cuban rum is the most traditional in our country. Its existence dates back to 1878 and its name come from the traditional Cuban roots, the city of Havana and its internationally known world then. Hence the name "Havana Club", precisely because it represented the heritage of Cuban rum production and the environment at that time in the capital of Cuba, "Havana", whose symbol "La Giraldilla" is included in the design of the very Cuban brand.
Reality also requires us to reflect on the cultural and traditional side of the product covered by this dispute. It is a genuinely Cuban rum and brand, whose origin cannot be other than Cuba.
However, protected by Section 211, since 1997 the Bacardi Company has been marketing, in US soil, rum that is not produced in Cuba or containing Cuban origin products using the brand "Havana Club".
It additionally violates the record of this Cuban rum brand, which since 1996 had been renovated in the United States for a period of ten years.
The Progress Report No. 152 presented by the United States still does not provide new information neither hints that there is a projection aimed at implementing the recommendations and resolutions adopted by this body since 2002.
In this respect, Cuba reiterates its request that the United States present a progress report that, according to the rules of the Dispute Settlement Understanding, includes the realization of actions that can establish an effective solution to this dispute.
The US government has the institutional capacity and the relevant powers to urge the US Congress to repeal Section 211 and put an end to this breach that undermines and breaks the credibility on the operation and efficiency of the dispute settlement system established by the WTO.
Once again we urge the United States to proceed with the repeal of Section 211 by eliminating all the negative consequences that it implies for Cuba, the implementation of the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against our country, which must be lifted definitively and unconditionally.