The Cuban Cigar Mystery

Why are Cuban cigars good?  It’s not as if communist economies are known for producing quality goods so why the exception for Cuban cigars?  I have a few hypotheses:

  1. Cuban cigars are not good.  The contrary impression is due to rememberances of things past and the sex appeal of the forbidden fruit.  (Testable hypothesis: Are Cuban cigars as highly prized in countries where they are not banned?)
  2. The Cuban "terroir," the soil, climate and environment are unique.   (Maybe but Communists destroy good terroir – see Zimbabwe, the Ukraine etc. – all the time.)
  3. Castro puts a huge amount of resources and incentives into producing cigars because a) he likes to smoke and b) exporting cigars and doctors is good for the brand image.  Cuban cigars are like Soviet chess.
  4. Castro has basically privatized the cigar industry allowing for significant market incentives.

Comments are open for those who know more about cigars and the Cuban cigar industry.


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