Latin America

Cuban cigar market up in smoke amid embargo and fertilizer shortage

Cuban cigar production is under threat, raising the alarm among domestic producers

Established in Havana in 1845, Partagas is among the oldest brands of Cuban cigars
Established in Havana in 1845, Partagas is among the oldest brands of Cuban cigars. Photo: T Photography/Shutterstock

Say “Cuban” in a word association game and more often than not, for better or worse, the answer will be “cigars.” These thick hand-rolled cigars, made from tobacco grown on the island nation, have become something of a symbol of Cuban culture, made famous by socialist revolutionaries such as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. But now, due to a combination of economic woes, Cuban cigar production is under threat, raising the alarm among domestic producers. 

Cuba relies heavily on its tourism, with it making up 10 percent of the country’s GDP before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. The Economic Commission...

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