Obama Hands Castro Monopoly a Trademark, Violates U.S. Law

Thursday, January 14, 2016
Earlier this week, we'd posted how the mask had quickly come off Obama's Cuba policy.

For the past year, Obama purported -- in rhetoric -- that his new Cuba policy was aimed at increasing "support for the Cuban people."

Now, it's just blatantly looking to change policies simply because "Castro doesn't like them."

Tonight, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office handed Cubaexport, a monopoly owned by the Castro dictatorship, a trademark for the Havana Club brand.

The Havana Club brand was stolen by the Castro regime from its original owners. Its legal owner today is the Bacardi Corporation.

In 1996, Cubaexport was denied the ability to register the Havana Club trademark. In subsequent litigation, the U.S. Government argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 provided the legal rationale for this prohibition.

Here's what Section 211 states:

"Bars certain transactions with respect to intellectual property in which the Cuban Government or a Cuban national has an interest with respect to a mark or trade or commercial name that is the same as or substantially similar to one that was used in connection with a business or assets that were confiscated unless the original owner or successor-in-interest has expressly consented."

Clearly Bacardi has not consented to the Castro regime's use of the stolen Havana Club brand. To the contrary, it has fought it in court -- and won.

So how does granting a Castro monopoly a trademark -- in violation of U.S. law -- "support the Cuban people"?

How does it help Cuba's "self-employed"?

Please, do tell, Mr. President..

It's another mentirita -- pun intended.

It's bad enough that the Castro regime has no respect for property rights -- and that its victims suffered the cost once.

But now Obama doesn't either. Or U.S. law for that matter.