Rum and Revolution

NPR has an interview this morning with Tom Gjelten, the author of Bicardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause, which  details the rum company’s history in Cuban politics and the role it played in the Cuban Revolution.  The company was very supportive of the Revoultion at first, as its success was derived essentially from its cubanismo, if you will:

In the 1950s, the family’s support for Fidel Castro in the Cuban Revolution was a natural carryover from 100 years of involvement in Cuban nationalistic movements. Pepin Bosch, the chairman of the company at that time, gave tens of thousands of dollars of his own money to the cause — as did other members of the family.

The audio of the NPR interview, along with an excerpt of the book, can be found here.

One Reply to “Rum and Revolution”

  1. Could a wacky dissertation topic being derived from this? “Castro and Communism, the Bacardi Link!”

    The conversation between (Fidel) Castro and Raul went something like this:
    Castro: I can’t take it anymore Raul. You know why we did all this; you said the rum would be free if we took over. My dreams of an endless supply of Bacardi are fading away….
    Raul: Just give it a little more time…
    Castro: No, no more time. It’s time for Plan B. Take it, take it over Raul, Bacardi belongs to the state now.
    Raul: But Fidel, if we do that, then people will start asking questions. They’ll figure out all we care about is the rum!
    Castro: There has to be a way… Wait! Wait a minute! I have “The Solution”!!!
    Raul: What, what is Fidel?!?
    Castro: Socialism! We’ll take it all over Raul! They’ll never figure out why we just wanted Bacardi if we take everything else with it….. We’ll get our rum Raul, and it will be under the guise of socialism.

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