Above: a Cohiba cigar
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Cuba could bringing $400 million from sales of cigars in the United States if the embargo were not in place, according to Jorge Luis Fernandez Maique, co-president of Habanos SA, which manages distribution for Cuban cigars worldwide on behalf of state-run Cubatabaco.
Maique has served as co-president of Habanos SA since 2011, according to Cigar Aficionado. He was speaking at a press conference on Thursday in Havana.
The United States has had an economic embargo on Cuba since 1960. Despite the embargo, it’s estimated that Americans buy around 20 million cigars each year anyway, by various methods.
When and if the US lifts the embargo, Cuba’s cigar producers could deliver about 50 million units in the first year, Fernandez said, and ultimately sell about 150 million each year in the US market.
Cuba has the “raw material and the experience of its employees” to do so, he said.