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Out of the Humidor

Marvin R. Shanken, Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, July/August 2012

(continued from page 1)

Dear Marvin,

There are many things I enjoy in life, but still one of my favorite’s is enjoying a fine cigar while reading my Cigar Aficionado magazine. Thank god my cigars have not changed much, but what has is the way we get our information about them. There are some days where I just can’t find your magazine around to enjoy with my fine sticks. Think of how many of your readers have iPads today, and how wonderful it would be to able to download Cigar Aficionado magazine anytime, anywhere from the Apple Newsstand App store with all the color and resolution that the new high res iPad has to offer. I still love your magazine and will continue to buy it, but sometime it would be nice to have another alternative to reading it. Cigars will always be here to stay, but it’s your magazine that makes all the difference in enjoying them.

Robert Ross
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Editor’s Note: Your timing is perfect. We have launched Cigar Aficionado on Zinio, the digital magazine subscription
service. Go check it out. It looks great, and it means you can have your Cigar Aficionado magazine wherever you have an Internet connection.


Dear Marvin,

Let’s face the facts: Cuba is a totalitarian communist dictatorship and if you’re a citizen, be careful, very careful. Yet the magazine would have us believe that all’s peachy and populated by happy cigar makers and smokers.

I understand that this situation makes it tough on you and your staff. You’re pro cigars and pro Cuba’s nice people. But alas, the fact remains: if you’re a Cuban national and you step out of line, brother, you face getting beat up or far worse.

What can Cigar Aficionado do? The least you can do is stop being so nice to Cuba and subtly, if this is possible, point out the fact that sure, Cuba makes great cigars but the communist government is not tolerant of the beliefs and opinions of any Cuban who questions its actions and policies. This may make Cigar Aficionado staffers personas non grata on the island but so what? When it comes to Cuban cigars, very few Americans ever light one up anyway. Furthermore, those cigars are hellishly expensive and non-cuban cigars are not only cheaper but in many cases better.

Cigar Aficionado has the closest contact with Cuba than any other U.S. entity.  I know the magazine is faced with a dilemma (or should be) but I can’t see the magazine going on year after year, genuflecting at the altar of communist Cuba.

Sincerely,
William Stump
Baltimore, Maryland

Editor’s Note: Mr. Stump, no one disputes the basic nature of the Cuban government. What we have always believed, and always argued, is that the best way to bring about change in Cuba is to open up the doors and create more people-to-people contacts, not less. For 50 years we have isolated Cuba and what has happened? The ones who have suffered the most are the Cuban people. No one is genuflecting before anyone. We simply believe there’s got to be a better way to bring about the change we all desire.

Dear Marvin,

I have been enjoying your wonderful publication for over 15 years. Brilliant articles, a wealth of insider information and lovely cigar ratings—always something new and exciting. The cigar ratings in particular are a fantastic guide for any cigar lover to get the idea of what is good and available, and Connoisseur’s Corner is always a trip down memory lane. I have been impressed with the quality of the recent Cuba coverage.

Like the superb coverage of Scotch, wine, and the amazing interviews with the world’s most famous cigar smokers, the Cuba coverage in the magazine is becoming more sophisticated and complex with each issue. Are there any plans to educate readers on the market for counterfeit cigars coming directly from Cuba, which also seems to be growing more sophisticated with time?

Best Regards,
Leonid Kuzmin
New York, New York

Editor’s Note: Thanks Leonid. Go to our counterfeit gallery

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