Forbidden Cuban Fruit

October 04, 2007 By: erik Category: News, Politics, USA 2,555 views

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We have purchased the gifts we will be giving to our male wedding guests. It should be a particularly nice gift for those guests coming from the United States, since it is something that they are prohibited from buying in or importing into the United States.

This post has a soundtrack. Press play below before continuing.

According to Wikipedia, on February 7, 1962, John F. Kennedy ordered his press secretary to obtain one thousand Cuban cigars. Upon the arrival of the cigars the next morning, Kennedy signed an embargo to prohibit the importation of Cuban cigars into the United States. As of 2007, the embargo remains in place. It’s good to be king, huh?

We had the option to get Dominican or Cuban cigars. I said that, from an American perspective, there was no doubt which one to choose. The Domincans are probably just as good, but there’s nothing sweeter than forbidden fruit.

We ordered three boxes of 25. At the moment, we’re expecting 100-105 wedding guests, half of which will be male, so we should have a few left over. I’m going to do my best to make sure that the Americans can smuggle a few extra back with them. According, once again, to Wikipedia, “small quantities [of Cuban cigars] can, in practice, be brought back without trouble from US Customs if the bands are removed prior to crossing”.Cuban Cigars

Apparently “smoking can kill you”. Why didn’t anyone say anything?

Cuban Cigars

The Guantanamera brand is named after the song you should be listening to. According to that Wikipedia page, they’re the el cheapo brand of machine-made cigars. Well, what’d you expect? It’s not like this is a royal wedding.

I really enjoy the smell and flavor of cigar smoke. But the last time I tried smoking a cigar, I got dizzy and had to lie down for an hour. So I think I’ll be abstaining during the wedding dinner when the cigars are being lit.

  • You’re encouraging smuggling…you naughty boy! I see you are adapting nicely to Spanish culture. My Spanish friends used to smuggle jamón serrano and chorizo into the U.S. when they were studying there. Sometimes their mothers would send shrink wrapped packages of ham in an envelope, which worked pretty well. But there was one guy that got caught coming back after Christmas with a chorizo in a sock (not the one he was wearing at the time), and it was confiscated. I’m sure the airport guards had a great snack that day. 🙂

  • I’ve got a good jamón smuggling story. We were flying from London to New York and a security guard at the gate (you know how there’s security in 12 places when traveling to the US) randomly selected us for a bag search. They found a shrink-wrapped package of jamón.

    Guard: What’s this?

    Erik: It’s Spanish ham.

    Guard: It looks like bacon.

    Erik: It does come from a pig, but it’s call ham.

    Guard: It looks like bacon.

    Erik: Okay, but, in Spain, it’s called “jamón serrano”.

    Guard: What?

    Guard [into radio]: Julia, could you come down here? I’ve found some bacon.

    Guard: I’m going to keep this for now. Go sit down, I’ve called my supervisor.

    Julia: Sir, is this bacon yours?

    Erik: Yes, that’s my ham. It’s for personal consumption.

    Julia: I’m pretty sure that bacon isn’t allowed, but we’ll let them decide on the other end. You be sure to give this to the authorities in New York and ask if it’s okay, okay?

    Erik: Sure thing. Thanks.

    And, of course, I never did. 🙂

  • Pretty good story. It’s surprising they let you go with it. I bet it tasted even better than usual. 🙂

  • Jeff Hardy

    Quite a funny story (both the origional and the comments). I personally have only brought a few back from Cuba myself and found that by putting on a different label on the cigar itself (i kept a bunch of them from other cigars you can buy in the US that It can be pretty easy. But hay, it can be dangerous.