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An Interview With Manuel Quesada

The head of Manufactura de Tabacos S.A. (Matasa), makers of Fonseca, Cubita and other cigars.
David Savona
From the Print Edition:
Alec Baldwin, May/June 2004

(continued from page 1)

Q: So when you started in the Santiago free zone, was there any other cigar factory there?

A: Nobody in the free zone. The free zones started in ,72, and the first free zone to open was in La Romana.

Q: When did Santiago's free zone open?

A: Seventy-four. The building where we are is where [then president Joaquin] Balaguer inaugurated the free zone of Santiago. Our building was used for the ceremony, and right after the ceremony, we moved in.

Q: What other companies were there?

A: There were three buildings. Ours was in the middle.

Q: That was it?

A: That was it.

Q: Today it's so large. You must look at it now and say, "My God, I don't even recognize this place."

A: There are 45,000 or 47,000 people working in the free zone. There aren't many towns in the Dominican Republic that have as many


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