You Can Now Legally Bring Cuban Cigars Into Texas
Starting this Monday, for the first time in 50 years, Americans visiting Cuba will be allowed to bring back an unlimited amount of cigars or rum. It's all part of a new round of executive actions designed to increase trade and travel with Cuba that was announced by the Obama administration today.
There is a bit of a catch. The new changes do not allow a business to bring back the products to sell. They are only for personal use. Still, this is a big change that many cigar aficionados will be celebrating.
It's all part of the new regulations issued by the U.S. departments of Commerce and Treasury. According to USA Today, these changes will make it easier for U.S. companies to import Cuban-made pharmaceuticals, U.S. agricultural companies to sell their products to Cuba, and for Cubans buy things online that were made in America.
The on-going work between the US and Cuba has been happening for almost two years. In January 2015. Obama lifted part of the trade restriction, allowing Americans visiting Cuba to return with up to $100 in cigars or rum. These new policies got rid of that limit. It also made it so that you can purchase and return with these Cuban-made items when they were sold in other countries, something that also wasn't allowed before. This will also allow for purchases made in duty-free stores in foreign countries.
The Obama administrations hope with these new policies is to push Congress to fully life the trade embargo against Cuba. For 50 years they have refused to do so as long as the Castro regime was still in power. Through opening these multiple smaller policies, the plan is that it will make it impossible for Congress to not commit fully to opening up trade.
While the political motives may be seen as positive or negative depending on your stance, anyone with a taste for fine cigars will probably be celebrating this one aspect. Cuban Cigars have been celebrated since being introduced to Europeans by Christopher Columbus after returning from the new world. The rolling and growing process had been passed down for generations in Cuba and the soil their tobacco is grown in gives them a completely unique taste.
They have been known as the very best cigar, and the fact that they have been restricted for five decades has only added more fuel to the fire, so to speak. The demand for them, mixed with the ban on them lead to more demand and even higher prices. Those wishing to appreciate a fine cigar will now be able to do so without breaking federal laws or going through so much red tape.