• Ben Balliro

Cigars; More than Tobacco

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

I will be the first to discuss any new release cigars, new blends, new brands, or any variation thereof. There comes a point, however, where at the end of the day you have to come to terms that business of cigars is like any other business. It has manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retail, wholesale, auctions, and international trade. With all these statistics and a network this large it is completely inevitible that international economies are affected. I was recently reading and article on and saw that Cuba has finally, and much-way-overly-too late allowed some of the population public wi-fi access on their phones and tablets.

C.A. says,”The Cuban State Telecommunications Agency, or ETECSA, has opened Internet services for mobile phone users on the island.” Of the 11 million population a little less than half have a mobile telephone number...the expansion of Internet access this week will now allow mobile phone owners to buy a data plan, ranging from 600 megabytes for $7 dollars to 4 gigabytes for $30 dollars. Without a plan, customers will pay ETECSA approximately $10 dollars for one gigabyte of data.”

I’m sorry, I know Cuba stereotypically makes “the best cigars around”, but with their communist regime, as slow as the progress is, and the fact that in this day and age with all the international commerce that comes to that country despite the embargo, the Cuban people should have unfettered access to 45 year old technology to communicate with the outside world. Considering they live on an ISLAND. Say what you want about the domestic issues we have about cigar laws and outside smoking bans in LA and NYC, Cuba works significantly harder for much, much less pay. Those prices seem expensive even by our standards, but to give you an idea according to C.A. most Cubans make around 20-30 dollars...a month.

That’s right, per month. So to communicate with family via online texting or messaging, it takes a month’s salary to do so. We as American’s should be ever grateful, but also repulsed at the lack of economic progress of our sister countries working desperately for our bourgeoisie pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little Capitalism, but there is something wrong with ignoring the communist-oppressed field workers who support our Capitalist lifestyle. We “ended” communism in the 1980’s revolutions (supposedly) and for all the billions we spend on forgein aid and military support around the world, it is inconceivable to me that Cuba should continue to suffer the yolk of communism because of the sins of our great grandfathers. European continues to import their cigars and rum, because they don’t give a shit about the embargo, to keep that country in businesss. We could easily, and I mean easily, lift the embargo, install free elections, and import their goods and services for an actual paying job. Just my opinion.

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