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Everything posted by JohnnyO

  1. These rules have been in place for quite some time (years). Nothing has changed. The only thing they did was get more specific about the labels and feria humidors. John
  2. Not sure if I have mentioned this before and its a tidbit useful only for US passport holders. Inside the US Embassy in Havana ("Oficina de Interes") there is a ATM machine that will give you USD. For a while access to the embassy was emergency only, but it seems they will be loosening things up. Dont know the fees or limits but its a reasonable plan "B". Travelers from other countries might check their embassies to see if these services are available as well. John
  3. Miami has a lot of interesting art, some is likeable some is just plain weird. This one was on NW 72 St and 7th Ave, a marginal part of town, likely a Haitian artist. Could not tell you what the business was but it went bankrupt (Gee I wonder why). As I drove by, I said to myself them boyz is smokin a culebra! John
  4. TSA lines can be avoided if one of you goes in a wheel chair. John
  5. I see myself in a few years flying out to Hong Kong, in the middle of a Typhoon, trudging through the swamps, with a flashlight, finally to make it to the almighty Swisher Sweet factory. There I find the custodian at the back door and say "I have $1000 for a 5-pack, Cherry Sweet if you have them". He says: "Nah brah, those are $1500". John
  6. In T3 this weekend there was quite a bit of Partagas Series P, and MC Double Edmundo (12.35 Euro) and No 2's (12.60 Euro) in dress boxes. So the prices are somewhat the same. There was also quite a bit of No 2's in petacas of 15 Tubos. Only Cohiba I saw was Siglo I in petacas, the rest was mostly purito, mini and the like. John
  7. Local news in Miami just reported of an explosion of the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba. For those that don't know this hotel its a stones throw from the Capitol building. Speculation is that it was due to liquid propane/gas being installed at the facility. No news if there were guests/locals injured. The images of the hotel show the mid-level rooms being gutted out 911 style. More information is sure to come. Such a nice hotel. This is all they need. John
  8. If you want to be naive about the Chinese capabilities to consume/assimilate economies then have it. They have no rules, they get you when you are weak. Slowly they absorb more and more of your market, especially premium products. I saw it for my work, 20+ years ago in the Caribbean consuming and destroying small selective markets. The same 20+ years ago I saw Chinese running around Havana with lists looking for master cases. Its different now, there are 1000X players with those lists. Those are front door sales. If you know anything about Cuba, the back door is always open. The people are starving, its not rocket science. John
  9. Cigar Journal did a second write up, clearing up some of their miscommunications. The details are more specific and price increases have officially started in Spain moving towards Hong Kong MSRP. John
  10. It looks like Cubas pricing is going to be in line with the rest of the world. Recently I've seen Siglo VI- 30 Euros, Siglo IV-20 Euros in T3 and they will likely have another increase once it all goes full Hong Kong MSRP. John
  11. BladeRunner. Or Ya'all forgot? Yes Commanodo, T1. Tony Montana. is in the mix. John
  12. In Havana, trucks are showing up at factories and pacas are being loaded up. No finished product. Asian drivers. No explanation to the workers. Mid to upper management is selling out the country getting ready for their Nicaragua trip. Just a small sample of what is happening to the world inventory. BTW, the article reminds me a lot of William Jefferson's Globalization plan. Everyone get gefickt except him. John
  13. For many, to get factory rolling jobs you have to be loyal to the communist party. They also prefer "chivatones" and it wouldn't hurt if your mother holds a high government job. That way they can control you. In hurricane season they tell the males to bring a machete to work, for the next three days they'll be clearing/cutting branches that are blocking a highway. Under the hot Caribbean sun, 14-16 hours with very little to drink or eat unless you bring your own. Right now you can make a lot more $$$ sleeping on a cardboard box all night, waiting for the bodegita to open up so you can buy products and re-sell them at a higher price on the open market. If rollers are leaving for Nicaragua, Honduras they will find work quickly as there are many cigar factories set up by former Cuban rollers. BTW, the Piramides Extra that was in T3 two weeks ago was gone and there was a 25 count box of Cohiba Maduros and several large boxes of Partagas LE's in the kiosk by gate B9. Nothing to speak of in the duty free. John
  14. It is also warmer than usual for this time of year, very August-ish during the day. Cooler once the sun drops. John
  15. Moscatel-260 CUP, Campo Viejo Brut champagne-475 CUP (made in Spain). Smoking Lounge in T3-this is in the VIP lounge. There are other areas with lots of couches as you are waiting for your flight. Cost is 720 CUP or 25 Euros. They had most of the rums and 2-3 different kinds of beer. Open bar. Did I say open bar? The VIP lounge is about 100 feet from X-rays on your left and its pretty roomy. The AC is much better here than the rest of the airport. This is a true bang for the buck as one beer is 3.64 Euros in the restaurants in the general waiting areas. John
  16. In T3 one box of Piramides Extra 10 count was 355 Euros. It was the only Cohiba available besides minis and the like. Here is the info for Comodoro PCR tests. I always call before I go there, usually I'm in and out in 10 minutes. It is in the same building as the LCDH, at the opposite end. Look for the red cross just outside the door. John
  17. I have drank some Cuban wines over the years, mostly from Pinar. Its available for a while, then it disappears. The packaging and bottles look very rustic. A few years back, maybe 5-7 there was a guy from Italy making wine for 50 CUP. Pretty flowery bottle, the wine was pretty good for $2. Now recently I found a organic/natural shop that has a Moscatel 260 CUP. It is made out of plums. It starts out sweet and has a tremendous nutty finish. I imagine they did it with the seeds. Not something you want to drink all night but for $2.60 theres a lot of bang for the buck. The shop I go to in Playa has some for a while then its gone. I'm not a regular wine drinker but it is a true surprise for whats happening in Cuba. If I lived there I'd buy cases of it. John
  18. KU hit the gas and the game was over 5 minutes into the 2nd period. John
  19. The U is holding up well against Kansas, up 35-29 at halftime. Lots of tiki-tak mistakes though. John
  20. Friends of Havana. HSA might say LCDH has exclusivity for the word Habano. Don't you monkey with the monkey. Sorry for your legal troubles. John
  21. The U in final 8. They gotta face a Monster Kansas tomorrow. Slight chance, they're only a 6 .5 point underdog. It might come down to the last two minutes, Kansas likes to let teams hang around. John
  22. In T2 all products are in Euros except for some souvenirs. Once inside the general waiting area the VIP room is 600 CUP or $25 USD all you can drink/eat. It fills up quickly and is well worth it (If you have the CUP). Our charter flight had an 8 hour delay, I dont suggest you use that system. John
  23. The Copacabana is $22.50 US daily with breakfast and they cant fill it. The Comodoro is $18.50/day with breakfast, same story. From what I understand Melia Cohiba has a breakfast buffet of 500 CUP and it is packed with locals. If you build it they will come. John
  24. Quite a few. Those old cars if they have a diesel engine are worth $15-20,000. Houses in Havana as well are worth that much, maybe up to $1,000,000 depending on its location. Cuba authorized sales of houses several years ago. Everybody has just had it. The stress level there is super high. John

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