Cuba: Cut in Tobacco Output Won't Affect Export Customers
HAVANA – Cuba will meet its tobacco export commitments for 2009-2010
despite a 30 percent cut in production of the leaf, the government said.
That guarantee was offered by the vice president of state-owned Grupo
Tabacuba, Osvaldo Encarnacion, in comments to official weekly Trabajadores.
Cuba's National Statistics Office, or ONE, announced last week that the
amount of land planted with tobacco was reduced from 28,200 hectares
(69,629 acres) to 19,800 hectares (48,888 acres) due to the severe
global recession and an acute financial squeeze on the communist-ruled
Encarnacion told Trabajadores the 2009-2010 tobacco harvest is expected
to come in at just below 23,000 tons, representing a 10 percent decline
from the previous season.
The Caribbean island produces some of the best tobacco in the world and
is famous for premium cigar brands such as Montecristo, Cohiba, Partagas
and Hoyo de Monterrey, but sales have fallen amid the global economic
Cuba is going through one of its worst economic crises in decades thanks
to a decline in exports, the rising cost of imports, three devastating
hurricanes in 2008, the 47-year-old U.S. economic embargo and the
shortcomings of the communist system. EFE
Latin American Herald Tribune – Cuba: Cut in Tobacco Output Won't Affect
Export Customers (13 October 2009)