It seems to be the question on every cigar smokers' mind these days. When will Cuban cigars be legalized in the USA? Just to be clear, as of this writing, the Cuban embargo has not been lifted. Some restrictions have been lightened, which is a positive step. Keep in mind, the US government does nothing quickly.
More importantly, we need to ask ourselves, what's in it for us? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is basically, nothing. Sure, US residents will someday be able to vacation in Cuba. US residents will someday be able to drink Cuban rum, and US residents will someday be able to purchase and enjoy Cuban cigars legally. The US government will, of course, get some minor financial benefit from import tariffs on Cuban goods and taxes on airline flights. In the grand scheme of things, this would only be a drop in the bucket (actually less) when considering that our government spends about $11,000,000,000 a day. Import tariffs on Cuban cigars might actually pay for a few seconds of our national budget. Passing the legislation that would allow Cuban cigars into our country will actually cost more than we would gain financially in the next thousand years.
Cuba has the most to gain from the embargo being lifted. They'll benefit from a boost in tourism to their beautiful island. They'll benefit from increased exports of their cigars and alcohol. They'll benefit by employing more of their citizens, who will be buying more products, whether produced locally, or imported. Their budget will increase substantially, while raising the quality of life for their citizens, and putting more money in the pockets of their leaders.
So, why do it? The answer to that, much larger question, is quite simple. The US will look like the good guy. The kind-hearted, forgiving and compassionate giant we want the world to see. It's all about image. And, thanks to our narcissistic qualities, that is is the reason cigar smokers across the US will be able to enjoy such Cuban gems, like Cohiba Esplendido, Romeo y Julieta No. 1 and Partagas Serie D #4 cigars.
In an upcoming article, we'll discuss whether Cuban cigars are even worth smoking, considering all of the great cigars currently available from Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras.