MEXICO CITY, México. – Cigar Festival – Festival del Habano– organized by Cuba and one of the most important commercial events for the country, closed with a cigar auction. The event raised more than 11 million US dollars, a record number according to its organizers.
Some one thousand premium Cuban-cigar professionals and aficionados participated in the auction, as reported by The Associated Press.
The lots auctioned were various makes of the H. Upman, Hoyos de Monterey, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Partagás and Cohiba brands. According to the organizers’ comments, the money raised will be donated to Cuba’s public health system which is facing a severe economic crisis.
Dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel and his wife Lis Cuesta were present at the gala. He signed the humidor –the cases where cigars are kept- that drew the highest bid at the auction.
A total of 11.2 million Euros (11.9 million US Dollars) was raised at the auction.
How is tobacco production going?
Last February, tobacco growers in Pinar del Río province, a province that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian in late September 2022, stated to the AFP news agency that “it will take between eight and ten years” for tobacco production to recover in that territory, which until now was responsible for 65% of the growth of tobacco leaf.
Following the impact of that hurricane, during a tour of San Luis -one of the meccas of Cuban tobacco together with San Juan y Martínez- Group Tabacuba president, Marino Murillo Jorge, said that “not one tobacco-curing barn was left standing in the province.”
Although damage to the tobacco growing plantations was not as bad as it could have been because planting season had not yet started, the tobacco barns were devastated.
Several growers have reported to CubaNet that there is a serious delay with the government’s payment for the harvest. While the state exports the cigars they produce, farmers have yet to be paid their wages.
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