Saturday, August 2, 2008

Embargo follies

A senior McCain campaign official has lobbied Congress to ease Cuba sanctions, the liberal blog TPM reports.

John Green, the campaign’s liaison to Congress, was a registered lobbyist for the French firm (and Bacardi nemesis) Pernod Ricard. Green’s registration forms show that he lobbied for a bill that would solve a trademark dispute in Pernod Ricard’s favor, and he also supported bills to end the travel ban, and to end the overall embargo.

Well, at least someone is giving the Senator good advice.

Moving toward the absurd, the InBev/Anheuser-Busch story continues to kick around.

This story of a simple corporate acquisition took on a Cuba angle because InBev, which is acquiring A-B, runs a brewery in Holguin that produces Cristal beer.

This story on Miami’s Channel 41 asks whether the Senator has a “conflict of interest” in the deal. His wife Cindy owns an Arizona Anheuser-Busch distributorship and lots of A-B stock, and as a stockholder would stand to gain from a payout if the deal goes through. (Channel 41 says she would make $2 million, the Wall Street Journal says it’s less.)

The “conflict” is that Senator McCain supports the embargo, and his family income might soon be boosted by a company that does business in Cuba.

So, in the Channel 41 story, a Florida Democratic spokesman enters stage left to needle Senator McCain – he’ll restrict what you send to your abuelita, but he’ll profit from a communist brewery. And from stage right, pitbull lawyer Nick Gutierrez piles on, representing the former owners of the Holguin brewery, raising the issue of “trafficking” in his clients’ property.

Press reports say the Cristal operation accounts for 0.5 percent of InBev’s business.


Anonymous said...

Go get'em Nick!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nick,

ha, your clients lost their property decades with it

Anonymous said...

I would bet anything Babalu Blog will mention none of this. This is not surprising, considering McCain's traditional anti-Cuban embargo positions, which he changed when he became a candidate. Nor are his wife's connections with the Cuban brewery surprising at all. But those Cuban Republicans involved in the McCain campaign will do everything in their power to minimize it, and that is no surprise either.

Anonymous said...

Anon, what are "McCain's traditional anti-Cuban embargo positions"?

theCardinal said...

McCain once spoke of easing sanctions towards Cuba. Makes no sense that he would want to drop them on Vietnam and keep them for Cuba. His support of the embargo is strictly political...what a shame.