El Presidente

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Posts posted by El Presidente

  1. 2 hours ago, havanaclub said:

    Prez which Nudie, if one, do you prefer or think you came closer to its Cuban counterpart? The N1 or N3?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    We are mixed on this. 

    I reckon the N3 goes very close to the connie 3. 

    That was my cigar on a late sunday morning. that was my cigar on a late night if I was looking to finish off a 2 cigar evening.  I love that cigar and miss it's flexibility and unique profile which was bold/rich/uncomplicated. 

    The N1 ended up resembling more the SDC Connie 2 than the SDC Connie 1 in terms of profile.  There is a "fist in a velvet glove" quality to it.  This is what I loved about the SDC Connie 2. We recently paired it (N1) with Zacapa XO and it hit all the right notes. 


  2. 4 minutes ago, db13 said:

    I have the feeling that we’re all in for a big awakening/surprise to find that the flavors and great smoking experiences we seek out from Cuban Tobacco can be matched and even taken further when a master blender such as Hamlet has many leafs to paint with on his cigar canvas. Something tells me we are in for a real treat.

    To be fair, we humbly pay homage to a great line of cigars that are no more.  

    Enjoyable skinnies at a fair price is what N1 and N3 is all about.   The Partagas SDC 123 provided the perfect canvas. 

  3. 11 minutes ago, dar24601 said:

    I love skinnies and it's getting harder to find in CC or NC so had to pick up a bundle.    You said you're already working on the 2020 version, will it be a similar flavor profile or are you aiming for something different.

    Assuming we have the right leaf, I would like to take 2020 in a different direction. 2019 explores my favourite du connaisseur 1/2/3/      

    2020 toward PL/Des Dieux/ERDM?

    You start with the leaf available and then go from there.  You can't start with a whiteboard and work backwards. That is how you get the Monte Open. 

  4. 58 minutes ago, jay8354 said:


    - What is the deal with a few of Rob's nearest and dearest friends and their war on clothing? 😂

    - Will there be a nudie version of a HdM DD and a Nudie hybrid child of a Lusi and RAG DC?

    - What is the deal with a few of Rob's nearest and dearest friends and their war on clothing? 😂

     I love eccentrics!

    - Will there be a nudie version of a HdM DD and a Nudie hybrid child of a Lusi and RAG DC?

    On the DD we are experimenting with some sweeter tobaccos.  Stay tuned. 

    • Thanks 3



    Cuba to allow citizens buy imports with foreign currencies

    By: The Associated Press October 17, 2019


    The Cuban government says it will allow citizens to use 10 foreign currencies to buy products like televisions and air conditioners at state stores in an attempt to compete with a multi-billion-dollar informal market in imported goods.

    The communist state has a monopoly on most forms of retail sales and all wholesaling, import and export. The only legal vendors of appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are state stores that charge as much as 200 percent of the average global price for generally low-quality Chinese-made products that are often out of stock.

    That has led to an illegal but tolerated black market in goods purchased abroad by individual Cubans and resold at a profit on the island. Thousands of Cubans each year fly to shopping districts catering to them in countries ranging from Panama to Haiti to Russia. By some estimates, the sellers known as “mules” spend some $2 billion a year overseas, a major outflow of hard currency from an island already in a serious cash crunch.

    Cuban officials announced Tuesday night that the prices of some consumer goods would drop for Cubans who create special new hard-currency bank accounts denominated in U.S. and Canadian dollars, Euros, British pounds, Swiss francs, Mexican pesos, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish kroner and Japanese yen.

    Cubans will also be able to use the accounts to import goods through state-run companies, officials said on national television, although the precise mechanism for those private-public imports remains unclear.

    Products that will be available for foreign currency include 43-inch flat-screen televisions, standing freezers, refrigerators and mini-split air conditioners. The discounts over current prices appear to be marginal — Reports in state media indicated that the government would still charge some 75 percent above the wholesale price. A 43-inch Samsung television, for example, would sell for $549, state media said, about twice the cost of a similar item in the U.S.

    “Money is leaving the country in significant amounts to acquire these products and we need to capture it as a source of hard currency to restock our industrial base, our retail stories, our market,” Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa said in an appearance along other government ministers and high-ranking economic officials.

    Cubans who open hard-currency accounts will be given a bank card used to purchase discounted goods. The move adds a new complication to Cuba’s unusual multiple-currency system. Cubans currently use Cuban pesos worth about 4 cents each and convertible pesos worth about a dollar.

    Cuba has been hard hit by the collapse of its main ally, Venezuela, and the hardening of U.S. sanctions under President Donald Trump. The state-run economy is constantly short on cash and, because it is highly dependent on exports that must be paid in hard currency, Cuba has been hit by regular shortages of basic goods ranging from gasoline to chicken over the last year

    “The economy needs a push, a reactivation of our national industry. There’s demand there,” Economy Minister Alejandro Gil said.

    Officials said the new program would start this month in 12 pilot stores and increase to 77 across the country over time.

  6. 9 minutes ago, juri said:

    well i picked up a bundle of the 1's i hope they come close to the Partagas Serie du Connaisseur Number 1 but without cuban tobacco thats one tall task 

    What year was the last du Connaisseur 1 you had? 

    The blending was fun albeit I went through a half box each of my remaining Connie 1's 2's and 3's for the comparison testing. 

    That spiced core and partagas toastiness will be there in spades.  From the blend reviews you will see that is what we were aiming at. 

    It was a ton of fun. 

    If you have a connie 1 or 2, smoke one as a comparison after these have rested. :thumbsup:

    • Like 1

  7. This is an excellent article on how the US Treasury Department wields the big stick on foregn banks. 


    In brief, the last point below is what captures so many foreign businesses. 


    Presently US law establishes that: “any “person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States “may not do business in Cuba or with Cuban nationals or businesses. “Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” includes:

    + U.S. residents,

    + U.S. corporations and their U.S. or foreign subsidiaries,

    + any person or corporation, including foreign ones – operating within the United States and its territories.


    SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

    Cuba, OFAC, Fines and Extraterritoriality



    Those of us who follow events going on in Cuba–as well as Cuba’s international relations – should discuss the extraterritorial power that the US Treasury Department has to impose huge financial fines on non US foreign financial institutions.

    To my knowledge there has been little discussion as to the reasons that foreign financial institutions accept the extraterritorial powers of the United States on such matters. For example, the Bank of Scotland is not a small bank. Yet, since it provided the service to Cuba of exchanging old US dollars for new US dollars; the bank was given an extraterritorial fine of $100 million dollars and the bank agreed to pay it. [1]

    How come?

    What exactly compels foreign financial institutions to accept the extraterritorial power and reach of the US Treasury Department? This is all based on a FICTION. That is, it is assumed that funds [in US dollars] deposited in a foreign account are deemed to have been  deposited in a U.S. account. In other words, the US dollar has a quality of extraterritoriality where the sovereignty of the United States government and its laws have sway. The “fine” that is to be paid by the foreign bank–that is, the amount of funds that can be seized by US Treasury –  is limited by the value of the funds deposited into the account at the particular foreign bank. In other words, the foreign bank is just handing over Cuban capital to the US government.

    Who are the people within the US Treasury Department involved in monitoring Cuba’s financial transactions abroad? Are these US employees closely connected with rightwing Cuban Americans? Is there a financial incentive/reward for disclosing such financial transactions to OFAC? Are US embassies around the globe given the task of monitoring Cuba’s financial transactions in each country? Is the NSA involved in monitoring such financial activities, as well?

    Presently US law establishes that: “any “person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States “may not do business in Cuba or with Cuban nationals or businesses. “Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” includes:

    + U.S. residents,

    + U.S. corporations and their U.S. or foreign subsidiaries,

    + any person or corporation, including foreign ones – operating within the United States and its territories.

    Thus, a foreign corporation such as the Bank of Scotland who has a branch in the US, is held accountable for what any branch anywhere else in the world does.

    The losses imposed on Cuba by OFAC already amount to over $1.5 trillion dollars.  There has been no compilation of the fines paid by foreign companies  to the US Treasury Department. However, the number of fines and the amounts of the fines have dramatically increased during democratic administrations.

    12/11/13 – Royal Bank of Scotland = $100 million dollar fine

    07/22/13 – American Express= $5.2 million

    06/28/13 – Intensa SaoPaolo = $ 3 million

    -American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and indemnity Association= $348,000


    -Credit Suisse/- UBS= $140 million

    – Dutch Bank ABN Amro= $500 million

    It should be noted that states within the US have an incentive to get involved in this policy. Since, often, the fines are split between the US Treasury and the state where the proceedings take place.

    On June 12, 2012 for example ING of the Netherlands agreed to forfeit $619 million dollars “to settle criminal charges”. ING, interestingly, was not charged with an actual violation but with “conspiring to violate US economic sanctions and with violating New York state laws by illegally moving billions of dollars through the US financial system on behalf of Cuban and Iranian entities.”

    It is not unusual to collapse the charge against Cuba with some other country in the so-called “terrorist” list.

    And IT SHOULD BE noted the following:

    “The forfeited $619 million will be split evenly between the US Government and the State of New York ($309.5 million each). ING Bank waived indictment on a single charge of conspiracy to violate the Trading With the Enemy Act (TWEA), 50 U.S.C. App., § 1 et seq, and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), 50 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1706, and entered into separate Deferred Prosecution Agreements with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and New the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY).”

    “According to the OFAC civil penalty document, ING processed more than 20,000 wire transfers and other transactions in violation of Cuba sanctions from October 2002 to July 2007 totaling more than $1.65 billion. It processed 41 transactions between December 2003 and September 2007 in violation of sanctions against Myanmar that totaled $15.5 million.”

    The ING statement was highly revealing at the time it was issued. It read:

    ING Bank reaches agreement with US Authorities

    Amsterdam, 12 June 2012

    ING Bank announced today that it has entered into a Settlement Agreement with U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Deferred Prosecution Agreements with the Department of Justice, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the District Attorney of the County of New York (together the “U.S. Authorities”) in relation to the investigation by those agencies into compliance with U.S. economic sanctions and U.S. dollar payment practices until 2007.

    Under the terms of the Deferred Prosecution Agreements, no further action will be taken against ING Bank if it meets the conditions set forth in the agreements. As part of the settlement, ING Bank has agreed to pay a total penalty of USD 619 million. As announced on 9 May 2012, ING Bank took a provision in the first quarter of 2012 to cover this issue.

    ING Bank previously disclosed in its annual reports and other public filings that it was in discussions with authorities concerning compliance with OFAC requirements in relation to transactions executed by Commercial Banking. Since 2006, prior to receiving inquiries from the U.S. Authorities, ING initiated two extensive internal investigations. Much of the findings, which were voluntarily disclosed to OFAC, focused on conduct relating to transactions associated with ING Bank’s Cuban operations, as well as business with counterparties in other OFAC sanctioned countries.

    The discussions with authorities on these issues did not involve ING’s Insurance and Investment Management operations, nor Retail Banking or ING Direct.

    ING Bank has cooperated closely and constructively with regulators and other authorities throughout this process. The U.S. Authorities have recognized ING’s substantial cooperation in the resolution and ING’s efforts and commitment to continuously enhance compliance within the organisation.

    “The violations that took place until 2007 are serious and unacceptable. The facts as compiled in the statement of the Department of Justice describe a very different ING than the company we’re all working so hard for today,” said Jan Hommen, CEO of ING Group. “Since starting the investigations in 2006, ING Bank has taken decisive actions to strengthen compliance throughout the organisation and heighten employee awareness of compliance risks. This continues to be a key priority in the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and serves to ensure we remain abreast of compliance risks in an increasingly complex financial services industry.”

    ING Bank is fully committed to conducting its business with the highest levels of integrity, which includes strict compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and standards in each of the markets and jurisdictions in which it operates. ING Bank has taken various steps to strengthen global compliance risk management. The Bank:

    Voluntarily terminated relationships with sanctioned banks and entities, including closing its representative office in Cuba in 2007 and liquidating the Netherlands Caribbean Bank, which was concluded in 2009.  Created a central team focused on preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorist financing and related policies and procedures.  Implemented enhanced compliance and risk management procedures on a global basis to improve the Compliance function and increased the number of compliance staff, which now has in excess of 400 full time ING employees dedicated to Compliance across our worldwide operations.  Enhanced its global compliance training programme as part of ING’s continuing focus on building a compliance-based culture. Amended key policies and guidelines and the international rollout of several programmes for education, awareness and monitoring of sanctions and compliance issues.  All enhancements that have been implemented in the past years are designed to meet or exceed current rules and regulations of law enforcement agencies and are aimed at preventing practices of this type from occurring in the future.


    Not a single foreign banking or financial institution has fought back the United States government’s “fines.” In fact, the Patriot Act – which is the overarching legal framework used against Cuba’s financial resources abroad – excludes judicial remedy. Thus, when it comes to the US dollar imperial extraterritoriality applies

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