Wednesday, February 8, 2012

50 Years and One Day Later

Fifty years ago yesterday, February 7, 1962, the US trade embargo against Cuba went into effect.  It was a political culmination of the Castro led revolution that began on 26 July 1953.  While I fancy myself a student of Cuban history, and history in general, I do not consider myself an authority, nor will I attempt to delve into any great detail this time around.

I merely felt compelled to mark the date, albeit a day late, of a significant event that occurred for my country, the United States of America, against another country, Cuba, which is held to be the motherland of tobacco.  Much hardship ensued, with far less blame belonging to US policy and far more staining the hands of the Communist Castro regime.  Private property rights were violated and family legacies were uprooted and cast aside by Castro’s revolution.

A sad but brilliant outcome was that through all of this turmoil and misfortune one of the greatest boons of the cigar industry occurred.  Rising like a phoenix from a mountain of cigar ashes, the premium cigar industry spread its wings, left Cuba, and spread like wildfire throughout the Caribbean and Central and South American nations that we now know so well.  What used to be a wholly Cuban dominated business offering up only the varieties of tobacco cultivated on that one island, impressive as they may be, is now  a thriving trade and industry in which those of us who love premium cigars are the ultimate winners.

Reflect for a moment on the entire struggle and the governmental abuse of power, from which we’re assuredly not immune, and acknowledge the strife and suffering of others.   But so too take a moment and marvel at the triumph of the human spirit.  Now that I mention it, dedicate your next cigar to mulling over this intertwined chapter of history.