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A ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO See World Trade Organization. ) supports the US position in the long-running trademark dispute between a Cuban-French firm and Bacardi. But the decision also could lead to another round of court battles in the US. Twenty-two Cubans rescued at sea are allowed to stay in the US despite immigration rules The Immigration Rules of the United Kingdom are laid down by Parliament and provide the framework within which entry to the United Kingdom is administered. The requirements for Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain under different categories of the Rules are provided as well as  that require their return to Cuba. Two of those rescued face charges in the US of criminal smuggling smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain  and possibly homicide. The 2000-2001 sugar harvest has resulted in another disappointing yield, close to the projected figure but well below last year's total.

World Trade Organization issues ruling in Havana Club This article is about a rum made in Cuba. For the rum of the same name made by Bacardi in Puerto Rico and sold in the United States only, see Havana Club (Bacardi).
Havana Club is a brand of rum, made in Santa Cruz del Norte, Cuba.

On Aug. 6, a WTO dispute panel ruled on the case involving ownership of the Havana Club rum trademark. The ruling supported the US side on most points in the dispute with the European Union European Union (EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the

European Community
 (EU), which made the complaint on behalf of the French spirits firm Pernod Ricard Pernod Ricard (Euronext: RI) is a French company producing alcoholic beverages. Their most famous product, Pernod Anise (40% alcoholic volume) and Ricard Pastis, are both pastis, and often referred to as simply Ricard or Pernod. . However, the ruling left the door open for the firm to try for another round in US courts.

The dispute stems from the claim by Bermuda-based Bacardi that it owns the rights to the Havana Club label, which has been registered in the US to the Cuban company Cubaexport since 1976. In a joint venture, Cubaexport and Pernod Ricard have been marketing rum around the world under the Havana Club label since 1993.

Bacardi claimed ownership of the trade name and cited a 1998 US law known as Section 211 that prohibits use in the US of trademarks that originally belonged to companies confiscated con·fis·cate  
tr.v. con·fis·cat·ed, con·fis·cat·ing, con·fis·cates
1. To seize (private property) for the public treasury.

2. To seize by or as if by authority. See Synonyms at appropriate.

 by the Cuban government. The law also prohibits US courts from hearing claims presented by current users of those trademarks.

The ruling accepted the US view that the WTO agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) does not require the US to recognize confiscation confiscation

In law, the act of seizing property without compensation and submitting it to the public treasury. Illegal items such as narcotics or firearms, or profits from the sale of illegal items, may be confiscated by the police. Additionally, government action (e.g.
 decrees, and consequently Pernod Ricard's claim that it owns the trademark is nonenforceable in the US.

Because the WTO panel agreed with the EU that the US could not deny access to its courts for companies seeking protection for trade names, Pernod Ricard could decide to press its trademark claim again in US courts.

Mark Orr, head of Pernod Ricard's North American North American

named after North America.

North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.

North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus.
 sales, said, "We are extremely satisfied that the European Union was able to make its point on this fundamental issue."

The company has lost in three attempts to get the courts to stop Bacardi from selling rum under the Havana Club name in the US. After the Supreme Court last year refused to hear an appeal of lower-court rulings against Pernod Ricard, President Fidel Castro Noun 1. Fidel Castro - Cuban socialist leader who overthrew a dictator in 1959 and established a Marxist socialist state in Cuba (born in 1927)
Castro, Fidel Castro Ruz
 said Cuba might ignore Bacardi's trademark protection and begin selling rum under the Bacardi label in Cuba (see NotiCen, 2000-02-17, 2001-04-19).

The WTO decision narrows the scope of international protection of trade names by excluding them from coverage under TRIPS. The European Commission European Commission, branch of the governing body of the European Union (EU) invested with executive and some legislative powers. Located in Brussels, Belgium, it was founded in 1967 when the three treaty organizations comprising what was then the European Community  said, "This very narrow interpretation of TRIPS could significantly reduce the level of trademark protection around the world by leaving each WTO member complete freedom on determining who is the owner of a trademark as long as it respects the procedural requirements of TRIPS."

A commission official asked, "If you had a US trademark, how would you feel about this? The international enforceability of trademarks is something that goes beyond just this case about rum."

The EU said it would appeal the parts of the WTO decision that deny trademark protection under TRIPS.

US to try smugglers after death of six Cubans at sea

US authorities will try two Cuban-born Miami residents for smuggling and perhaps homicide following the Aug. 1 deaths at sea of three adults and three children heading for Florida in a speedboat.

Twenty-two passengers, including the two alleged smugglers, were rescued after the boat capsized in heavy seas near Key West Aug. 1.

Border Patrol spokesman Joe Mellia said 20 of the survivors would be allowed to stay in the US because they were needed to testify against the two men who allegedly charged US$8,000 per person for the trip to the US.

The two men, Osvaldo Fernandez Marrero and Roberto Montero mon·te·ro  
n. pl. mon·te·ros
A hunter's cap with side flaps.

[Spanish, hunter, from monte, mountain, from Latin m
 Dominguez, were charged with criminal alien smuggling by the US attorney's office in Miami. They face life imprisonment Imprisonment
See also Isolation.

Alcatraz Island

former federal maximum security penitentiary, near San Francisco; “escapeproof.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 218]

Altmark, the

German prison ship in World War II. [Br. Hist.
 or the death penalty if convicted.

The day after the boat sank, Cuban exile leaders in Miami began to pressure the White House to allow the survivors to remain in the US. Armando Gutierrez, who was prominent in the efforts by the exile community to keep Elian Gonzalez in the US (see NotiCen, 2000-07-13), wrote President George W. Bush asking him to grant asylum. "Those people have been victims of the communist regime of Fidel Castro, of the unmerciful weather on the high seas high seas

In maritime law, the waters lying outside the territorial waters of any and all states. In the Middle Ages, a number of maritime states asserted sovereignty over large portions of the high seas.
, and now they run the risk of being returned to Cuba," Gutierrez said.

Under an immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important.  agreement with Cuba, undocumented Cubans who do not reach dry land (wet feet) are returned to Cuba. The decision to exempt the survivors may represent an intensification of US efforts to crack down on smugglers. The Cuban government has often complained that the wet-feet, dry-feet policy encourages smuggling and that the US does not do enough to prosecute offenders.

Mellia said, "We're actively pursuing them. We're prosecuting them. And we're getting convictions."

But the exemption also raised the issue of compliance. The immigration agreement has no provision for granting permanent-residence status to undocumented Cubans who testify in US courts. William LeoGrande, an expert on Cuba policy at American University, said the exemption "sets a precedent that others will point to in terms of bringing to the States people under conditions not really included under the current policy."

Complicating the criminal case against the alleged smugglers are reports that among the missing were Fernandez Marrero's wife and two children. Relatives of the accused smuggler said he did not make the trip for money but to bring his family to Miami.

Bush said that, for the time being, the immigration policy would remain unchanged. "We're adhering to that policy while treating emergency cases with compassion," he said during an interview with The Miami Herald and other newspapers.

Sugar harvest lower than expected

Cuba's 2000-2001 sugar harvest failed to meet government projections of 3.7 million metric tons and was well short of the previous harvest. Sugar Minister Gen. Ulises Rosales del Toro General Ulises Rosales del Toro serves in Cuba's Politburo and he has served as chief of the general staff of the armed forces. He currently holds the position of sugar minister. External Link
  • Behind Raul, generals rule
 said the harvest, which ended in late June, reached 3.532 million MT. The 1999-2000 harvest produced 4.05 million MT. Despite the setback, Sugar Ministry officials say they expect 4 million MT next year and have not abandoned the longer-term goal of returning to harvests averaging 7 million MT.

The modest yield was attributed to drought conditions followed by torrential rains, production inefficiencies, and shortages of spare parts.

The ministry has pursued a policy of closing inefficient mills and cutting overhead in other ways to produce crops at lower per-ton costs and diversifying into production of sugar derivatives (see CubaSource, 2000-07-10).

The Banco Central de Cuba said last year's sugar exports earned US$450 million. Despite lower output, the earnings are expected to be higher this year. Of the total crop, Cuba will export about 3 million MT. At the current world price of around US$250 per MT, Cuba could receive as much as US$750 million in export earnings.

Meanwhile, Cuba is expanding mixed-capital ventures in the industry with six new ones planned for this year.

At present, there are 10 joint-venture enterprises in the sugar industry with Mexican and EU investments in alcohol products and equipment for sugar production. New ventures created this year using capital from Ukraine and Belarus will begin work next season refining Cuban sugar in their respective countries.

A Sugar Ministry official said Cuba would be paid with tires, tractor parts, and other production supplies depending on the amount of sugar exported to those countries for refining.

A third enterprise, created with Brazilian capital, will supply technical services. A project planed in conjunction with French capital will build a plant for producing construction materials made partly out of cane residue (bagasse bagasse

Fibre remaining after the extraction of the sugar-bearing juice from sugarcane. The term was once applied more generally to various waste residues from processing plant materials.
). [Sources: The Washington Trade Daily, 06/12/01; Inter Press Service Inter Press Service (abbreviated: IPS) is a global news agency. Its main focus is the production of independent news and analysis about events and processes affecting economic, social and political development. , 02/13/01, 06/26/01; Notimex, 06/28/01; BBC News Online BBC News Online (more recently referred to as simply the BBC News website) is the website of BBC News, the division of the BBC responsible for newsgathering and production. Forming a major part of , 07/06/01; World Data Service, (Cuba), 06/20/01, 07/10/01; Proceso (Mexico), 07/15/01; Spanish News Service EFE EfE Environment for Europe (EU)
EFE Einstein Field Equations (general relativity)
EFE Early Fuel Evaporation (Automotive Emission Control)
EFE Endocardial Fibroelastosis
, 07/20/01; Spanish News Service EFE, 08/02/01; South Florida Sun-Sentinel The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, owned by the Tribune Company, is the main daily newspaper of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and all of Broward County. Its main competitor in this area is the Miami Herald, out of neighboring Miami-Dade County to the south. , 08/04/01; Reuters, 06/05/01, 08/06/01; Associated Press, 08/03/01, 08/06/01; United Press International, 08/06/01; The Financial Times (London), 07/06/01, 08/07/01; Agence France-Presse, 08/06/01, 08/07/01; The Wall Street Journal (Boston), The Guardian (London), 08/07/01; The Miami Herald, 08/07/01, 08/09/01
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Publication:NotiCen: Central American & Caribbean Affairs
Date:Aug 16, 2001

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