The Trump Organization in 2008 sought to secure trademarks in Cuba despite President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE saying about a decade earlier that he would not pursue business there unless the country made democratic reforms.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that the organization filed an application for a trademark in 2008 that was approved two years later. Though it never opened any locations or pursued any business on the island, the application listed business activities including "investment in real estate" and "hotel services."
The Trump Organization did not violate the U.S. embargo against Cuba with its actions, the Herald reported.
But the trademark application followed remarks Trump made in 1999 before a Cuban American group, where he pledged not to invest in Cuba until reforms were made.
"Putting money and investing money in Cuba right now doesn't go to the people of Cuba. It goes into the pockets of Fidel Castro," Trump said during the speech, referring to the country's leader who died in 2016.
The Trump Organization's interest in Cuba reportedly continued until at least 2013, when executives with the company looked at the possibility of opening a golf course, according to the Herald.
Requests for comment to the White House were directed to the Trump Organization, which did not immediately respond.
Former President Obama began a period of warming relations with Cuba, culminating in his 2016 visit to the island.
Trump has taken a much harder stance toward Cuba; just months ago his administration moved to block private charter flights to the country in an attempt to increase economic pressure on the Cuban government.