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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
cigar case, Summer 93

(continued from page 12)

Mike Vella
Sunnyvale, California

* * *

Dear Marvin:

We would like to congratulate you on the success of CIGAR AFICIONADO. As cigar lovers we look forward to each issue with great anticipation. It has heightened our appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of cigars, one of life's great yet simple pleasures.

We have seen much written in the first three issues of CIGAR AFICIONADO regarding the United States' economic embargo of Cuba, mostly in favor of lifting the embargo. While we feel the embargo is the right policy, we respect differing viewpoints. We were offended, however, by a letter to the editor written by David Crowley, a political science major at the University of Montana, who opposes the embargo [Vol. 1, No. 3]. Mr. Crowley's lack of perspective is apparent, where he says, "I think it is an atrocity that I can't get a Cuban cigar in this country." Mr. Crowley's choice of words is unfortunate.

While we, too, would love to smoke Cuban cigars, we recognize that the cause of a free Cuba is more important. If truth be told, however, there is great ignorance in this country about the reality of the Cuban situation. For this reason, we would like the opportunity to express to you and your readers why we support the economic embargo against Cuba.

There is no question that the totalitarian Castro regime is one of the most repressive governments in the world today, where the rights of the Cuban people are repeatedly and systematically violated. The United Nations recently published a report documenting the Cuban government's abysmal human rights record and appointed a special envoy to investigate the situation further. The Castro government has refused to allow the United Nations representative into the country.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the decrease in subsidies from Eastern-bloc countries, the Castro regime is struggling to remain in control. Most experts agree that a lifting of the embargo would first and foremost provide Castro with the funds necessary to reconsolidate his position in power.

Living in Miami, we have the opportunity to speak frequently with recent arrivals from Cuba. The vast majority of these people not only favor the U.S. embargo against the Cuban government, but also call for an international campaign similar to the one organized against the Republic of South Africa during the darkest days of apartheid. These recent arrivals tell us that the people of Cuba view the embargo as a symbol of hope, as someone standing up to Fidel Castro, something they cannot do in Cuba without fear of beatings, imprisonment or worse. If the embargo were lifted, it would be viewed by the Cuban people on the island merely as an expression that the United States has lost interest in Cuba.

What we want is for the Cuban government to recognize basic human rights and democratic freedoms. Castro will not do this if he can help it because he knows it will mean the end of his regime. International pressure, however, offers the best chance to give the Cuban people the freedom that they so richly deserve.


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Comments   1 comment(s)

William Mills — Orlando, Florida, USA,  —  June 13, 2013 7:37pm ET

Dear Marvin - Regarding the letter from Peter Worsham in the August issue, I lived in Havana from 1997 until 2000 as a member of the U.S. Interests Section. The GOOD cigars are indeed heavily controlled and expensive no matter where you buy them including Cuba. That said there was always counterfeit/seconds cigars to be had on the black market, but so easily available that the Cuban government had to be aware or complicit in their production and sale. In the end, although not top of the line cigars it was Cuban tobacco which I think is the best in the world.
Changing the subject, I just returned from a car trip to Eastern North Carolina and was surprised to see farm fields of growing tobacco. These same fields use to grow soy beans, cotton, and corn, while the owners were being paid NOT to grow tobacco. Can anyone tell me what has happened? Chinese demand? Domestic demand? Other?
Thanks for the fine magazine.

William Mills
Orlando


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