Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Entourage, July/August 2009
Dear Marvin, Thank you and all who were involved in the Els For Autism fund-raising event. I have many friends with autistic children and I also have an autistic niece. I cannot find the words to properly express what I am feeling right now, so I will say God bless you all! Thanks so very much and please keep up the wonderful work. I hope these events continue for many years. Once again thank you.
Don Blondello Reggio Calabria, Italy
Editor's Reply: Thanks, Don. Next year is going to be even better, and we're looking to truly assist in the finding of a cure for autism.
Dear Marvin, I enjoyed the magazine's guide of the various establishments in New York City where a person can enjoy a cigar along with some of life's other comforts. It was informative, enlightening and helps expand the footprint of places to go. I live in Westchester and have frequented nearly all of its cigar-smoking establishments and have visited a number of the ones in the piece. I attended the grand opening of the new Cigar Inn on Second Avenue and it truly was quite an event. I applaud the brothers Fakih.
My only problem with the article was that it was so nuts-and-bolts and filled with rules, regulations, dress codes and membership fees that I felt an air of intimidation. Lost in the leather sofas and book-lined walls was the easy-going comfort of enjoying a cigar. Remiss was the camaraderie between those who become regulars at these establishments, where friendships, bonding and deals take place. Absent was that "everybody knows your name" in a place where people can go, call it their own and enjoy smoking a cigar, one of life's great pleasures.
Peter Wattenberg New Rochelle, NY
Dear Marvin, First off, I would like to congratulate you on bringing the Cuban embargo question to light for the American public. Avoiding political mumbo jumbo and special interest groups, you did not succumb to complaining about free- market enterprise or our right to smoke Cuban cigars, you gave the people facts. In truth, this embargo cannot succeed. We cannot bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, that must come from the people themselves, and the war in Iraq is a perfect example. After years of fighting by our brave soldiers, full democracy cannot be realized while another nation's troops occupy the land. The results will be realized long after we are gone.
The Cuban embargo has only served to tighten the stranglehold that the Castro regime has on its people, and has made many Cuban citizens hate the United States. The embargo has actually helped Castro rally many Cubans against the U.S., making us appear as the evil aggressors who would deny people their right to trade and commerce. If this failed policy has made any progress in bringing democratic reform in Cuba or overthrowing the Castro regime, it has completely gone over the heads of the American people.
Thomas Andros Brooklyn, NY
Editor's Note: It is hard to equate one policy with another in another part of the world. But we agree that our Cuba policy has been counterproductive over the years. Everyone hopes that the years to come will see a constructive change in our approach to our southern neighbor.