HAVANA,October 21 (acn) The vice-president of Habanos S.A. international corporation, Jorge Luis Fernandez, said in Havana that if the US trade restrictions were lifted, Americas could make up the main market for Cuban Habano cigars.
Speaking to Trabajadores newspaper, Fernandez said that from 1949 to 1958, just before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the US was a natural market for the Cuban product as Americans would buy 33 percent of the Cuban cigar production,
which translated into 35 percent of the total income of the sector. But the US trade restrictions imposed on Cuba in the 1960s not only deprived Cuba of a stable market, but also prevented US cigar smokers from having access to the Cuban product.
In normal conditions, Cuba could sell from 150 to 170 million Premium Cigars, those hand-rolled and weighing over three grams, which would translate into 380 million dollars a year.
At present Cuba sells its Premium Cigars in 25 European countries, meaning 58 percent of its production, disregarding the cost of the freight, and this compares to a previous commercialization of 33 percent of the production in only one country.