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Out of the Humidor

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

(continued from page 10)

Semper Fidelis,

Michael P. McCrane
Captain, USMCR
Belleville, Illinois

* * *

Dear Marvin:

For most of the years between 1950 and 1960 I was Chairman of the Executive Committee and major stockholder for Cia Litografica de la Habana. In that capacity I exercised primary policy, as well as most day-to-day control and direction over the company's affairs. It was, by far, the largest commercial printing company in Cuba--had thousands of stockholders (the stock was listed on the American Stock Exchange) and had 400 to 500 year-round employees. By Cuban standards we were a big and important part of the economy. Amongst our many customers we knew all the cigar manufacturers of Cuba. I personally knew many of the owners and enjoyed smoking their products immensely.

Someday, at another time, I could fill you in on many anecdotes, stories and interesting facts about being the printer--from cigar bands to the embossed, colorful artwork inside and on the boxes--for the Cuban cigar industry.

Now, I'm more concerned with your naive, obviously ignorant and completely frivolous attitude on lifting the embargo on Fidel Castro and the Cuba he has virtually destroyed.

Our company was taken away--in fact, stolen--by the Castro government in October 1960, along with 300 to 400 other companies. Even the Catholic Church was taken away. There were no payments, nor have there been reparations of any kind, to recompense what was taken. We could not call the police about the theft. The stockholders of our company lost many millions of dollars. I'm sure that the losses suffered by the other companies which were taken over were up into the billions of dollars. And you want me and others like me to forget all that because some cigar smokers feel that they're deprived because they can't puff on Cuban leaf?

I smoke many of the other cigars available throughout the world, and I would throw up if I put a Cuban cigar in my mouth as long as Fidel Castro and his government are still in power.

Francis J. Sorg Jr.
Sedona, Arizona

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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

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