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An Interview with Charlie Toraño

We sit down with the president of Toraño Cigars for a wide-ranging discussion.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Entourage, July/August 2009

(continued from page 3)

Q: Would you want to go back in and grow tobacco?
A: Yes. Definitely.

Q: On those same fields?
A: That would be an ideal situation, but I'm more practical than that.

Q: Do you think there's ever a situation where Benji Menendez [whose family owned the H. Upmann Factory] gets his cigar factory back, and you get your fields back? Is that even possible?
A: There is historical precedence.

Q: East Germany?
A: And Nicaragua. That was a Marxist revolution, they nationalized all the farms, all the factories, so there is precedent. But from a practical standpoint, there could be a viable argument to just start over. I don't want to see Cuba become China. I don't want to see it open economically and not politically. I don't want that for the Cuban people. I hope that however the embargo is used in the future, that it gives the motivation to see real change—and for the change to not only come from one side.

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