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Stogie Commentary: Free Cubans!

12 May 2006

Sorry guys…that’s my position on the government of Cuba, not a stogie offer.

Stogie Guys around the world appreciate freedom, because everyday some busy-body do-gooder “activist” or politician is trying to tell us that we should not be allowed to enjoy our cigars. And yet that lack of freedom under which we suffer pales in comparison to the oppressed citizens of Cuba.

While at StogieGuys.com we generally just stick to our stogies (and leave the politics to others), there can be no doubt that the political situation in Cuba affects the cigar habits of all American Stogie Guys.

So without debating the merits of the embargo, I’d like to point your attention to a Wall Street Journal profile of one Cuban who is certainly making a positive impact on his country’s political situation:


By conferring a Doctor of Laws degree on Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, Columbia University effectively honors every person in Cuba who shares his burden, dreams and goals.A Columbia press release about the award summarizes those goals: “As a prominent human-rights organizer and director of the Varela Project, an effort to democratize Cuba’s political system, Payá is celebrated as an agent of nonviolent change.

In 2002, Varela collected thousands of signatures on a petition that called for, among other things, a referendum on electoral reform, free speech and private enterprise. The group then presented it to Cuba’s national assembly. Later that year, Mr. Payá traveled to Europe to accept the EU’s highest human-rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

By 2003, however, a brutal and continuing crackdown on democracy activists was in full swing in Cuba. Undeterred, Mr. Payá and other Cubans continued their work, and this week in Havana, Varela took another step, unveiling a proposal for a new Cuban constitution with guaranteed democratic freedoms.

Columbia deserves kudos for inviting this democracy activist to its commencement ceremony, and Stogie Guys everywhere should applaud Varela since, if he had his way, we would be able to legally buy Cuban cigars in the United States…and, most importantly, the citizens of the world would have a bit more freedom to enjoy.

-Patrick S

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2 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Free Cubans!”

  1. Cecelia Gordon Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 5:58 pm #

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. The Stogie Guys » Blog Archive » Stogie Reviews: Cohiba Siglo V - Monday, December 18, 2006

    […] We have received a number of comments from our wonderful readers inquiring when we planned to post a review of a Cuban cigar. After all, over the past few months, we discussed Oswaldo Payá, analyzed Cuban reform, and even shared a Cigar Aficionado Fidel Castro interview with you. Well, beloved Stogie Guys, inquire no more. […]