By Gregory L. Pease, Associate Editor
Writing for both a pipe and a cigar publication not only allows me to wear two of my favorite hats, but it also gives me the opportunity to express two different voices. It’s often thought that pipe smokers love agreement, while cigar lovers enjoy the smoke of heated controversy. While there may be some small grain of truth to this, I think all such broad-brush generalizations are unfair to the groups about which they are made. But, this month, I’m running with it, and diving in to splash in the pool of controversy, exploring what I’ll call the Cuban Mystique, and how it’s been used, or abused, to sell cigars, and to sell the sophistication of today’s cigar smoker a few cents short. Granted, this is a more germane topic to US smokers than to those in the rest of the world, but I live here, I’m writing this, and I can’t legally enjoy the precious jewels of Cuban origin because of a presidential decree, executed by JFK in February, 1962, minutes after he’d laid in a sufficient supply of his own favored smokes. El Bloqueo has been in effect ever since.