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Rum & Cigars

Few things go together better than a glass of good rum and the right cigar, except maybe more rum.


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Old 04-04-2008, 08:47 AM   #1
Hank Koestner
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Question News from Cuba

I read this morning that Cuba is going to increase tobacco output by 30%.
Also, some of the unused land is being turned over to farmers to grow more tobacco and other crops. The farmers will be operating on thier own land, not controlled by the state. Also, Cubans will be able to purchase more personal items such as cell phones, microwaves and TV's.
Could this be a move towards a more democratic atmosphere, to open relations with the US?
Are they preparing for an increase in cigar production, maybe for the US market?
Will this effect the flavor and quality of the cigars?
Will this drive the price of the cigars up?
So many questions. We shall see.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:17 AM   #2
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Quoting excerpts from the above post.

"some of the unused land is being turned over to farmers to grow more tobacco and other crops" - They would be better off growing fruits and vegetables - being at a few of their resorts, they are lacking in flavourful fruits and vegetables. Increasing tobacco production will likely bring down the quality. As for price, it will likely keep increasing as demand will always be their - newer markets like the US (when it opens) China and India will guarantee a strong demand.

"The farmers will be operating on thier own land, not controlled by the state"
That's weird, I thought, the Govt owned everything.

"Cubans will be able to purchase more personal items such as cell phones, microwaves and TV's". Thats weird, the residents have no money to buy these items.

"Could this be a move towards a more democratic atmosphere, to open relations with the US?" Is perception realty - time will tell, a new president will be elected soon.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:53 AM   #3
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:42 AM   #4
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"The farmers will be operating on thier own land, not controlled by the state"
That's weird, I thought, the Govt owned everything.

"Cubans will be able to purchase more personal items such as cell phones, microwaves and TV's". Thats weird, the residents have no money to buy these items.

"Could this be a move towards a more democratic atmosphere, to open relations with the US?" Is perception realty - time will tell, a new president will be elected soon.[/QUOTE]

I think some of the points you make are correct but the government don't own everything. All of the hotel chains are run on the basis of the government owning 51% of the business only and then providing tax breaks for the first 10 years for the hotel chain. I have friends who own their own houses in Cuba and we are not talking rich people in Havana here, they live in Cardenas and Colon.
Residents have no money eh? Strange then that friends who live in Cuba tell me that there have been queues to buy mobile phones and the networks are finding themselves hard pushed to keep up now with the increasing demand. They are working in partnership with an Italian telecomms company.

I think this merely signals a move to a much easier attitude to the outside world by the new regime in Cuba and hopefully will signal an end to the problems of the last 50+ years. I think the increase in production of tobacco is going to effect the quality as it did in the late 1990's so they will need to manage that carefully.
We can only hope that if the qulaity of life improves for the average Cuban then we may yet see the end to the embargo and free trade with Cuba once again.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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On the increased tobacco / cigar output...

Remember the flatlined cigars that came out of Cuba near the turn of the century / millennium? Increased production to meet demand from the boom (latter 90's) was said to spur tobacco growth on land that was never previously regarded as suitable for growth to ramp up raw material for increased production.

I guess you could say I'm skeptical at best about how I believe the final results of these increased production desires will pan out. The desire to rapidly add something close to a third more production, often signals a willingness to place quantity in front of quality.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matusalem View Post
On the increased tobacco / cigar output...

Remember the flatlined cigars that came out of Cuba near the turn of the century / millennium? Increased production to meet demand from the boom (latter 90's) was said to spur tobacco growth on land that was never previously regarded as suitable for growth to ramp up raw material for increased production.

I guess you could say I'm skeptical at best about how I believe the final results of these increased production desires will pan out. The desire to rapidly add something close to a third more production, often signals a willingness to place quantity in front of quality.
From experience and from comments made on the two largest cigar boards in Canada relating to Cuban cigars, I can tell you that the problems they had before have not affected the quality of today. The cigars they have produced from about 2004 on have been very good from my experience with the 06 and 07 cigars being excellent.

I'm not a farmer, but I'm sure the soil is all the same, it will just take a few years for the stocks to mature (what the heck do I know about farming). If the ban is lifted, I'm sure the investment in agriculture will come. Its a shame the US for the most part can't sample the current Cuban cigars, because I feel they are truly the best in the world. Please don't be bitter about the point I make, I'm just expressing my opinion from first hand experience in smoking both Cuban and Non-Cuban cigars - to me, there is a big difference.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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Thank you gentlemen for the inputs. Great information. We will just have to wait and see what the future brings. I have recently had the opportunity to smoke some different types of cigars, all from 06 and 07, and they all were outstanding. Beyond outstanding. There are some excellent non Cuban cigars, but the current crop of releases from Cuba are the cream.
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