France seeks “constructive relationship” with Cuba

HAVANA TIMES — France hopes to establish with Cuba “constructive relations in all domains,” Romain Nadal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Prensa Latina. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is due to arrive in Havana on Saturday.

Nadal added that Latin America is one of the priorities of French foreign policy, which seeks to strengthen its ties with all countries in the region.

According to the spokesman, the visit will promote partnerships between companies of the two countries and support  French companies wishing to develop projects in Cuba. At present about 60 French companies are active on the island.

During the visit of FM Fabius, the first trip to Havana by an official of that level in the past 30 years, the minister will inaugurate a UBIFRANCE office, a public institution to support the international development of French firms.

3 thoughts on “France seeks “constructive relationship” with Cuba

  • The marketing relationship between the world’s #2 spirits company and Cuba’s flagship export is the exception. The other well-known export, Cuban cigars, is so beleaguered by counterfeits in the marketplace that French tobacco firms are reluctant to partner with the Castros’ Habanos S.A. in marketing Cuban cigars. Beyond rum and cigars, French businesses are likely to struggle to find common ground.

  • There already is one Franco-Cuban partnership: Castro formed a partnership between the Cuban distillery which produces Havana Club rum and the French liquor conglomerate, Pernod-Ricard which handles international marketing and technical expertise.

    The only problem for the Castro regime and their French co-conspirators is that Bacardi has successfully prevented Pernod-Ricard from selling Havana Club in the US. Bacardi bought the rights to the brand from the Arechabala family who owned the brand and distillery in Cuba until the Castro regime seized it illegally. Bacardi now makes a rum under the Havana Club label and markets it in the US.

    A similar law suit is before the courts in the EU. Since the Revolution, Bacardi has been successful in defending their brands from infringement by the Castro regime in every single court case they launched.

    It will be interesting to see how the EU case over Havana Club works out.

  • Pop quiz: name one third world country better off economically because of business ties with French businesses. Here’s a clue: historically, dating back to the French colonizers, the French are least likely to share or transfer technology, production knowledge and management control to their Cuban partners. A Franco-Cuban/Cuban-Franco partnership is going nowhere.

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