When relations between the U.S. and Cuba soured in 1962, John F. Kennedy created a trade embargo, making the Cuban cigar a rare commodity in the U.S.
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Kennedy loved the cigars so much that he asked for 1,000 of them before he put the embargo in effect.
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Flash forward to today: diplomatic relations have started to improve and now these mythic cigars are now allowed unlimited access in the country.
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They should put an embargo on that horrible handshake.
And people are feeling it.
— Joe d (@Jdaugherty1024D) October 14, 2016
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But what exactly makes a Cuban cigar so special?
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Over the years, Cuba has refined its cigar making process, using only the best tobacco leaves.
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The making of each cigar takes over 100 steps that has been handed down from generation to generation.
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Quality assurance is very important.
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The creation of each cigar is monitored by Cuba’s government, which ensures the quality of each cigar that is made.
Cuban cigars are usually priced between $8 and $80, though some, like the limited edition Cohiba Behike, can cost up to $20K.
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Baller status confirmed.
When the embargo was put in effect, many Cuban cigar makers moved to other Caribbean and South American countries to continue making cigars for the U.S. market.
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These Cuban farmers brought seeds from the original Cuban plants and began cultivating them in their new homes, ensuring that Cuban cigars would prosper in one form or another.
Many people claim that because the original Cuban makers left the country, today’s Cuban Cigar lacks the authenticity it once had.
— Daniel Regueira (@DansANerd) October 14, 2016
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Several websites are dedicated to whether or not Cubans are as good as they once were, but it really comes down to preference.
— Aries (@AriesShaver) October 14, 2016
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For years, U.S. citizens were forbidden from bringing Cuban cigars into this country, and violators were subject to serious penalties.
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But that didn’t stop people from trying.
Because of their scarcity, they’ve previously held a cult status in the U.S.
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Mainstream entertainment used the Cuban cigar as the butt (ahem) of many jokes.
Today marks the beginning of a new relationship with Cuba and the U.S., and hopefully our countries can begin to heal the wounds that have long plagued our relationship.
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In a statement released on the Whitehouse’s website, Obama laid out his intentions:
In December 2014, following more than 50 years of failed policy, I announced that the United States would begin a process of normalizing relations with Cuba. Since then, we’ve worked with the people and the government of Cuba to do exactly that – re-establishing diplomatic relations, opening embassies, expanding travel and commerce, and launching initiatives to help our people cooperate and innovate. This new directive consolidates and builds upon the changes we’ve already made, promotes transparency by being clear about our policy and intentions, and encourages further engagement between our countries and our people.
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