Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cuban Cigars

Cuban Cigars JFK Loved May End ‘Forbidden Fruit’ Status in U.S.
By Mark Drajem

Cohibas, Partagas and Montecristos from Cuba. For U.S. cigar aficionados, the names spark thoughts of civil disobedience.

As President Barack Obama moves to ease restrictions on trade with Cuba, cigar lovers are savoring the prospect of legally lighting up a smoke that has long required a black- market connection and a willingness to flout the law

“There’s a mystique about a Cuban,” said John Anderson, owner of W. Curtis Draper,m Tobacconist, a cigar shop in Washington. “Cuban tobacco has become the forbidden fruit.”
The possible end to the 47-year-old embargo on Cuba trade has intensified a legal and lobbying fight between cigar makers Swedish Match AB of Stockholm and Imperial Tobacco Group Plc of Bristol, England. Each wants exclusive rights to sell Cuban-made brands in the U.S., the world’s largest market for premium cigars.

Swedish Match sells cigars in the U.S. made in Honduras and the Dominican Republic under Cuban brand names. It bought the brands from families that fled Cuba after Fidel Castro seized their cigar companies in the 1960s. Imperial distributes Cuban- made cigars under many of the same names to the rest of the world through an agreement with the Cuban government monopoly, Cubatabaco.

“Before serious commerce resumes, this is going to have to be resolved,” said Robert Muse, a Washington lawyer who advises clients on Cuba-related issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment