Cuban Cigars About To Become Legal Again

Cuban Cigars About To Become Legal Again

Cuban cigars are about to become legal again in the U.S. President Barack Obama’s loosening of trade and diplomatic relations with Cuba includes a provision that lets American travelers to Cuba bring back $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which can be tobacco and/or alcohol.

“That can include cigars,” a senior administration official. “You just can’t sell the Cuban cigars, or the Cuban rum or whatever, to anybody else when you get back to the States.”

President John F. Kennedy first made Cuban cigars illegal in the U.S. as part of a broad embargo in 1962. There was a time when the relative few Americans authorized to travel to Cuba could bring back $100 worth of cigars, though that loophole had lately been closed.

The ethics of buying goods made by low-paid workers in lousy conditions in a totalitarian regime is your business, of course.

Hand-rolled Cuban cigars have long been considered the best in the world, but for decades they have been illegal in the U.S. due to an embargo against goods from the Communist nation. That will all change under a new deal to normalize relations between the two countries announced Wednesday by Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro.

The opening of the floodgates to "cigarros Cubanos" is going to be a great thing for the cigar aficionados of the world, Christopher Bledsoe, president and owner of International Cigar Experts, an online cigar retailer based in Poughkeepsie, New York, said.

“It’s going to be really booming, because it’s something that people have wanted for so long and now they actually have that right to import them. It’s going to be massive, massive business,” Bledsoe said. “It’s just like for all of a person’s life they couldn’t have this one thing and now they can have it.”
 

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