Obama lifts import ban on Cuban cigars

The U.S. government is set to lift limits on the importation of Cuban cigars, vastly increasing the amount of cash that will flow into the Castro family crime syndicate.

Since 2014, travelers could bring into the U.S. only $100's worth of cigars.  Those limits will be lifted, although it will still be illegal to sell Cuban cigars in the U.S.

For the legal sale of cigars to come about, an act of Congress is needed.  So far, President Obama has been unable to figure out a way around Congress to allow the direct import of goods from Cuba.  But give him time.

CNN:

But Cuban cigars are no longer a forbidden luxury, as President Obama on Friday issued a directive that would allow Americans to engage in more commerce with the communist-run island, including potentially allowing Cuban state-run pharmaceutical companies to sell their low cost, innovative medications in the US.

But it was the news that American travelers can now bring back an unlimited amount of Cuban alcohol and tobacco -- including the famous cigars -- that captured many people's interest.

"You can now celebrate with Cuban rum and tobacco," said National Security Adviser Susan Rice, while discussing the changes in a speech Friday.

The imported tobacco and alcohol must be in carry-on baggage and for personal use, and US restrictions still prohibit the sale of Cuban cigars.

Still, the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine, David Savona, said the change will have a major impact.

"It now allows people who love great cigars to travel the world and bring back Cuban cigars and enjoy them," Savona said. "If you go to Cuba, you want to buy cigars and try Cuban cigars. They go hand in hand."

Already, though, with the boom in tourism in Cuba, some of the top and most sought-after brands are disappearing from store shelves. Some aficionados worry that the cash-strapped Cuban government will cut corners and produce an inferior product.

What makes this decision unconscionable is that cash from the sale of the cigars will go right into the pockets of the Cuban government's oppression apparatus: the army and the secret police.  Desperate for hard currency to pay off those who do their dirty work, President Obama has handed the Castros a gift that will lead only to more misery for the Cuban people.

The cigar industry in Cuba is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cuban government, as is the rum industry.  Dollar for dollar, they are the most valuable Cuban exports (sugar prices have been depressed for years due to a glut on the market).  This move by the U.S. government will do nothing for human rights in Cuba and everything to enrich the Castros at the people's expense.

The U.S. government is set to lift limits on the importation of Cuban cigars, vastly increasing the amount of cash that will flow into the Castro family crime syndicate.

Since 2014, travelers could bring into the U.S. only $100's worth of cigars.  Those limits will be lifted, although it will still be illegal to sell Cuban cigars in the U.S.

For the legal sale of cigars to come about, an act of Congress is needed.  So far, President Obama has been unable to figure out a way around Congress to allow the direct import of goods from Cuba.  But give him time.

CNN:

But Cuban cigars are no longer a forbidden luxury, as President Obama on Friday issued a directive that would allow Americans to engage in more commerce with the communist-run island, including potentially allowing Cuban state-run pharmaceutical companies to sell their low cost, innovative medications in the US.

But it was the news that American travelers can now bring back an unlimited amount of Cuban alcohol and tobacco -- including the famous cigars -- that captured many people's interest.

"You can now celebrate with Cuban rum and tobacco," said National Security Adviser Susan Rice, while discussing the changes in a speech Friday.

The imported tobacco and alcohol must be in carry-on baggage and for personal use, and US restrictions still prohibit the sale of Cuban cigars.

Still, the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine, David Savona, said the change will have a major impact.

"It now allows people who love great cigars to travel the world and bring back Cuban cigars and enjoy them," Savona said. "If you go to Cuba, you want to buy cigars and try Cuban cigars. They go hand in hand."

Already, though, with the boom in tourism in Cuba, some of the top and most sought-after brands are disappearing from store shelves. Some aficionados worry that the cash-strapped Cuban government will cut corners and produce an inferior product.

What makes this decision unconscionable is that cash from the sale of the cigars will go right into the pockets of the Cuban government's oppression apparatus: the army and the secret police.  Desperate for hard currency to pay off those who do their dirty work, President Obama has handed the Castros a gift that will lead only to more misery for the Cuban people.

The cigar industry in Cuba is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cuban government, as is the rum industry.  Dollar for dollar, they are the most valuable Cuban exports (sugar prices have been depressed for years due to a glut on the market).  This move by the U.S. government will do nothing for human rights in Cuba and everything to enrich the Castros at the people's expense.