Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Cuba: 'Puros' not so puro in Havana


...Much like their Peoples Revolution®.

Yup Cuba travellers, you just might be smoking hacking on fake commie cigars
Tourists might expect to get counterfeit Cuban cigars when they buy them on the streets of Europe, Mexico or New York City.

But Havana?

Yes, admit officials in Cuba. The black market in fake Havanas is alive and well even in Fidel Castro's own police-state back yard.

"In Cuba, when you buy cheaply priced counterfeit habanos, you really don’t know what you’ve acquired," says a report in Granma, the official news organ of the Cuban state. "Only the street seller is aware of the deception. When, on your return to Europe, Mexico or Moscow, you open the box in the hope of smoking a good cigar, it’s already too late."
Dastardly plotting free-market counterfeiting capitalist!

Anyway, it's been my somewhat limited understanding that many of the worlds better-quality cigars are now produced in the Dominican Republic, where many Cigar makers fled to after the bearded dictator's revolution and subsequent nationalization of privately owned business.

Even stalwart Davidoff have hustled their Swiss arses on over to the DR having ceased production of their blue-ribbon cigars in Cuba since 1990 as the soil quality of Cuban tobacco growing regions continued to diminish through over-farming.

Overall, it really sucks to still see millions of Cubans suffer under the tired clenched fist of a doddering old communist tyrant..

Viva la revolución contraria!

UPDATE: Check out this post from Keith at Alcohol Was A Factor for his first-handSmoke account of an encounter with a guy who embodies the effects the revolution has had on the people who were the Cuban cigar industry...great photo too.

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