Cuba expects to sell four million cases of rum in 2011

Havana, April 12 (IANS) Cuba expects to sell four million cases of its flagship rum Havana Club in 2011, despite a US decision not to renew its marketing license in the country, president of the state-owned Cuban Rum Corporation said here.

'The Cuban industrial capability is at a very high level,' president of the Cuban Rum Corporation Juan Gonzalez said, adding they expected rum exports would reach more than $100 million in 2011.

Arian Remedios, legal advisor of Havana Club International, said the company sold 3.8 million cases of rum in 2010, a growth of 14 percent over the previous year, reported Xinhua.

A US federal appeal court in Washington decided last week not to renew the marketing licence of the Cuban brand in the US, which was acquired by Cuba in 1976, due to the embargo against the island which has been in effect since 1962.

However, the Cuban government said the sentence favoured the US Bacardi Rum group.

The French group Pernod-Ricard and the Cuban Rum Corporation, which formed the joint venture Havana Club International, have been fighting with the Bacardi group since 1994 for the license of selling the Havana Club brand in the US market.