Will the real Cohiba please stand up

Congressional Quarterly had an interesting article last week about how loosening the U.S.’s trade embargo on Cuba could be problematic for one Richmond-based cigar company.

Cohiba is the most famous cigar in Cuba, it was reported to be Fidel Castro’s favorite. The cigar is produced by a Cuban state-owned company, Habanos S.A..

General Cigar Company of Richmond sells their own brand of Cohibas, that are produced in the Dominican Republic. Habanos and General Cigar were entangled in a nine-year court battle over the brand name that began in 1997. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court deterimined the Cuban company did not have a legitimate trademark claim because of the embargo.

According to the article, General Cigar has spent $3.5 million lobbying Washington over the last 10 years mostly over the Cuba issue.

The CQ reports that the U.S. travel and embargo rules are loosening under Democratic rule:

Though there seems to be little momentum in Congress to lift the embargo, Democrats are pushing to loosen it. The $410 billion omnibus spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year, which is on course to clear this week, would lift Bush-era travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans who want to visit relatives on the island and lift restrictions on U.S. exporters who want to sell food and medicine…

Congressional Quarterly had an interesting article last week about how loosening the U.S.’s trade embargo on Cuba could be problematic for one Richmond-based cigar company.

Cohiba is the most famous cigar in Cuba, it was reported to be Fidel Castro’s favorite. The cigar is produced by a Cuban state-owned company, Habanos S.A..

General Cigar Company of Richmond sells their own brand of Cohibas, that are produced in the Dominican Republic. Habanos and General Cigar were entangled in a nine-year court battle over the brand name that began in 1997. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court deterimined the Cuban company did not have a legitimate trademark claim because of the embargo.

According to the article, General Cigar has spent $3.5 million lobbying Washington over the last 10 years mostly over the Cuba issue.

The CQ reports that the U.S. travel and embargo rules are loosening under Democratic rule:

Though there seems to be little momentum in Congress to lift the embargo, Democrats are pushing to loosen it. The $410 billion omnibus spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year, which is on course to clear this week, would lift Bush-era travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans who want to visit relatives on the island and lift restrictions on U.S. exporters who want to sell food and medicine…

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Chris Moran
Chris Moran
13 years ago

Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

Chris Moran

Manuel Nieto
Manuel Nieto
13 years ago

Just to enligthen, Fidel Castro`s favorite cigar , when he smoked, wasn`t “Cohiba”, in the Laguito when Avelino Lara was Director, where the Cohiba was made, a special blend was made in small quantities each month, specially for Fidel and for him alone, it was called “Trinidad”.

Mario DAmico
Mario DAmico
12 years ago

First of all, Fidel did have a love for Cohiba. It had to be smuggled out of the country to be sold most of the time. But the picture in this article is NOT cuban cohibas. Those are dominican republic cohibas. Cohibas of the same name but have the obvious difference of a red dot in the name. Thus, they’re called the red dot cohibas, and are not the cubans.