The debate continues. If you drop by your local cigar shop, you will see numerous old-school
brands of cigars that were made in Cuba up until the whole US embargo
thing: Romeo y Julieta, Don Diego, H. Uppmann, and so on. In the sixties
, these companies fled for the more consumer-friendly shores of Honduras
, the Dominican Republic
, ect, and the lawsuits started over whether Communist
Cuba could keep using the names. Nowadays, you can find cigars named, say, Punch
, that are made in Cuba and also other ones that are made in Dominica.
There is no real consensus about the question of supremacy. Cuba imparts two abstract advantages to its cigars: tradition and mystique. In the United States, it seems that they are sought after because they are the forbidden fruit. In final analysis, you can find Cuban cigars that are sweet or mild or strong, good or bad, with draw problems or without. The same could be said for Honduras or the Dominican Republic, but you can buy cigars from those countries at your local store.
There is no bottom line. If you can avoid being suckered by counterfeit Cubans and you like cigars, they're probably worth the money and effort it takes to get them into the US. On the other hand, there are truly fantastic cigars being made in other countries as well. As of right now, being late in the year 2001, the embargo against Cuba is starting to wear thin and it's easy to look forward to a time when it will be lifted. Maybe after Castro croaks, and maybe before. And after that, all the old-school cigar makers might just move back to their homeland, or they might not. For now, sit back and have a cigar.