Days after Castro got into power in Cuba he made a stunning statement that shocked tobacco officials and smokers all over the island. His announcement was that after nationalizing the sugar and tobacco industries, that individual cigar brands were a thing of the past! Names like La Corona, Henry Clay, Murias and Villar y Villar were gone forever. If that wasn’t enough, he stated that the beautiful decorated boxes and bands that came with these Cuban National Treasures would also be eliminated.
When Batista was in power 960 types of cigars were manufactured but Castro wanted this to be cut back to, an unbelievable 4.
Then something amazing happened. The new authorities backtracked on their decision with no explanation. They gave 90% of the land to small farmers and kept only the largest plantations as state run tobacco industrial fields. The fate of the Cuban cigar was then in question until Cuban officials consulted Zino Davidoff at his cigar shop in Geneva, asking him for his advice on the future of the industry. He told them to continue producing cigars under the government run “Cubatabaco” company and over 300 types and sizes of cigars were re-established, including boxes and bands.