Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Brad Paisley, March/April 2012
(continued from page 2)
Virgil J. Girosan
I look forward to opening my mailbox and receiving your wonderful magazine and will continue to do so, but I must say, I was repulsed by your effort to sell the failed welfare state, Castro’s sick socialist utopia, Cuba, in your December 2011 issue.
Who was responsible for this? They need to be fired! As a very patriotic American, son of a WWII vet and cigar lover it made me want to vomit as I read the Cuban propaganda. Cuba a nice place to visit? Maybe for some frozen Canadians who have bought into the socialist utopia welfare state that our current class warfare leader, Obama, is trying to sell again. Those Cuban Americans that escaped the communist oppression and murder of Castro should cancel their subscriptions. I know that I would.
I know Cuban cigar makers make some of the best cigars in the world but the Cuban people bought into what Castro started selling 50 years ago and they deserve the poverty and squalor they currently live in. When Castro and all his murderous henchmen are dead and after a few generations of freedom-loving people, Cuba will be worth visiting again.
The recent issue of Cigar Aficionado made Havana seem like a dreamland; a paradise purposely stuck in a bespoken time of
chivalry and elegance. I’ve been a cigar smoker for nearly 30 years and would love to be able to visit there. One day. Maybe.
However, the quickest way to change it from utopia to inferno is to open the doors to American capitalism. In the time it takes you to write your next Editor’s Note, there will be a Starbucks on every corner and a littered McDonald’s wrapper in every gutter. Do we really want to see a place as special as Havana turn into an ugly strip mall?
Don’t get me wrong, capitalism has its place. It has lots of positives to it. But to let it run amok means cheap manufacturing and unsafe business practices. After all, capitalism is all about making a buck, not about getting, and keeping, customers. If we allow it to run over the boarders of our neighbor to the south, Havana will soon be home to hazardous buildings, made with subpar Chinese steel and lazy, thoughtless and incompetent workers.
If you want our smoking bans to find a crack in which to leak, then lift the embargo. Whatever trends we have here will eventually find a grounding there. Soon American visitors will demand no smoking sections in every restaurant and hotel, if not outright smoking bans. The complaining will crescendo and for fear of losing the new American influx of tourist dollars, Havana will do whatever it takes to keep the naysayers coming.