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A Conversation with José Blanco

The gregarious sales director for La Aurora speaks about the cigar industry.

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Q: The impression we used to have was that, in the old days, La Aurora was such a big company, it does so well with the beer and cigarettes, but cigars weren't a big deal. But there seemed to be this reawakening—hey, we're the oldest cigar company in the Dominican Republic. Now you're making serious cigars.
A: It's been hard work, and Guillermo has given me a lot of support. I have to be grateful to four people, not counting my father: Guillermo, Don Fernando, Benjie Menendez [of General Cigar] and [Davidoff's] Henke Kelner. They have really taught me a lot. I'm very grateful. Remember that picture with Paul Newman, where he plays Rocky Graziano? It seems somebody up there likes me.
Photo by Walter Astrada/World Picture News
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