Organisers of a week-long Cigar festival in Cuba are hoping for a large increase in buyers from the US, thanks to a softening of trade sanctions.
Point of view
This is the first time we have ever been able to purchase, to legally, legally purchase (cigars), because some us who have been here before have purchased (on the) under ground. But for us it's the first time we can do it and we're very happy.
Americans who are allowed to visit the Communist country can now buy up to 100 US dollars worth of cigars to take home.
The industry hopes that if a full embargo on Cuban products follows, local producers could take as much as 30 percent of the US cigar market.
American tourist Patricia Lofman was delighted that she could legally buy Cuban cigars for personal consumption:
“This is the first time we have ever been able to purchase, to legally, legally purchase (cigars), because some us who have been here before have purchased underground. But for us, it’s the first time we can do it and we’re very happy.”
The Habanos Festival charges thousands of dollars for a chance to sample the latest and greatest in Cuban cigars.
Cuba currently exports around 80 million cigars a year and could potentially double its output if an American embargo were to be relaxed.