Three quick stories from our trips to Havana over the years.
I always wanted to visit the Partagas factory as they are one of my favourite brands of cigar. Before we went on the tour (ten years ago ow I think) the guide told us we should not buy any cigars from the rollers during the tour as this was not allowed. Throughout the tour so many were holding little cards with cigars and prices on as we walked past. I was amazed at the brazen nature by which they were showing them. As we finished the tour and enjoyed a genuine cigar at the bar downstairs, I said to my wife "Can you believe how many of the rollers were trying to sell us cigars, all those signs and hand actions they had?" She just looked at me blankly and had completely missed them all.
Our second trip we went back to the Partagas factory to spend a few hours at the bar as we found it a great place to chat to people and while away a few hours. As I was sat there with a Siglo III a guy sat next to me and asked if I wanted to buy any cigars as he could do me a special deal. I just turned round to the shop behind me and told him I could by all I wanted there for great prices whilst knowing they were genuine. He got really upset when I told him I wasn't interested in his fakes at all. We were sat right at the bar and he was not subtle when he was talking to us.
Finally, on that same trip, my wife decided we should do a day trip to Viñales and see a little more of the country. We had a young tour guide and were the oldest in the group by many years. As we were on the way the guide said that if any of us were cigar fans then he could arrange for us to visit a special shop to get good prices. I rolled my eyes as the younger guys in the group all said they were ready to buy. Later in the day we stopped at this shop in the middle of nowhere, boxes of cigars with glass tops (Montecristo, Cohiba), special bundles wrapped in ribbons. All at "amazing prices, straight from friends in factories". They were all obviously fakes, even my wife knew they were, so we passed on the generous offers, much to the guides disappointment.