Since 1961, Cuban cigar aficionados have been faced with a perplexing dilemma. Following the Cuban Revolution that year, and the nationalization of the island’s cigar industry, a number of the heads of Cuba’s finest cigar companies fled to the Dominican Republic where they continued to produce their legendary cigars. Cuban cigars are considered by many to be the finest cigars in the world, and this division of the Cuban cigar industry, with “Cuban” cigars being produced in the Dominican Republic and even in Miami, raises questions of what exactly makes a “Cuban” cigar. Partagás cigars, one of the best brands of Cuban cigars, are produced in both Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The difference between the two, however, is that the Dominican Republic “Partagás cigars” don’t actually contain any Cuban tobacco.
Partagás cigars are named after the Spanish Don Jaime Partagás y Ravelo, who founded his factory in Havana in 1845 after having spent a number of years in the Cuban tobacco business. After Don Jaime was murdered in the 1860s, his son José Partagás took over his father’s cigar business. He sold the business to a banker, after a series of sales the brand was acquired by the Cifuentes family, who functioned as the sole owners of the company from about 1927 up until the Cuban Revolution. Following the Revolution, Ramón Cifuentes was offered the job of head of Cuba’s tobacco industry; however he refused the offer and instead left the country for the Dominican Republic, where he resumed producing “Partagás cigars” in 1978, albeit without any Cuban tobacco in them. Production at the Partagás factory was taken over by an agency of the Cuban government.
After the US trade embargo in 1962, which saw President Kennedy requesting 1,200 Cuban cigars before blocking all Cuban imports into the US, many cigar lovers in the US chose to purchase their Partagás cigars and other “Cuban” cigars from the Dominican Republic rather than Cuba. However, the authentic Partagás cigars produced by Cuba continued to be the gold standard for fine cigars across the world.
Today, genuine Partagás cigars are still produced by the state-run tobacco company on Cuba. They are the second-best selling brand of Cuban cigar after Montecristo. Widely considered one of the finest cigars in the world; Partagás cigars account for approximately 10 million of the cigars sold annually around the world. They are frequently available online at the best possible prices. Buying from a trusted cigar supplier online allows dedicated cigar aficionados to ensure the Partagás cigars they receive are the real thing, the finest possible cigar for their money.
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