Are these “special cigars” really Cubans?

A: This is a great story. Though I only have your word to go on, I am not all that surprised.

I recently heard about a South American factory that was doing something similar – rolling Cuban tobacco into cigars “handmade” in that country and shipped with said country’s seal. No doubt, this is one way around U.S. Customs. The only thing the store owner might also be doing, just to be safe, is using Honduran wrapper leaf. (I believe the aforementioned factory was using a Peruvian wrapper leaf on their blend.) Moreover, though I have no proof, nor have I heard from anyone in the cigar business about this practice, I wouldn’t doubt if there were some Cuban emigres in Miami and Tampa who are able to get small quantities of Cuban leaf and are rolling them down there, too.

The only thing I can add is, let’s get this dopey Cuban embargo over with already.

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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