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CanuckSARTech's Cuban "Encuentros Partagas" news thread.

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Greetings all. Keith (aka CanuckTURDburglar) innocent.gif is down with Havana along with Avrus aka John this week for the Partagas Festival. He tells me there's some interesting things going on. I will post what he relays to me here.

His first tidbit to me was that the RA Club Allones are "epic". I have a box heading my way thanks to our host. Cannot wait to try one for myself. I've heard some good things about them.

Also no sign of Dip RE's so far...

Stay tuned........................looking.gif

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Guest photorob

Club Allones on my buy list already, and you're not helping!

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1000 boxes of Diplomaticos RE snapped up last week for Venezuelan VIP's. dry.png

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Thanks Frank and Keith party.gif

I see the Venezuelan contra deals continue wink2.gif

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1000 boxes of Diplomaticos RE snapped up last week for Venezuelan VIP's. dry.png

Probably Partial payment for the Venezuelan oil that Cuba receives.

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Not much cigar news, but Havana news.

Keith reports the following.

Increased police presence on the streets. Every six blocks cruisers or motorcycle units. Lots of surveillance cameras. Probably a precaution as a result of the Paris attacks.

Lots of scams.

  • He and John were almost scammed at the airport. (no details)
  • Attempted scam at Hotel Nacional (no details)
  • They hired a cab from 10AM to 6PM for the day at 50CUC (25CUC per 4 hour period). Upon dropoff cabbie claimed he was owed 25CUC/hour. Tried to surround him and John with about 8-9 other cabbies. Lots of arguing. Kieth loses it. Gives his hotel room, name, shows his badge, tells them to call the cops. At that point, they break off.
  • In "scammy" cigar news. Ticket for Partagas Opening dinner jumped from 115 to 120CUC, which turned off many interested parties. Attendance could be low.

Not much stock at many stores. They're hawking the Petit Robusto 10 count boxes hard. Five marcas, two of each for 108CUC.

It seems that the scams are kicking up in numbers. Probably looking to rope in some "gringos".

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Not much cigar news, but Havana news.

Keith reports the following.

Increased police presence on the streets. Every six blocks cruisers or motorcycle units. Lots of surveillance cameras. Probably a precaution as a result of the Paris attacks.

Lots of scams.

  • He and John were almost scammed at the airport. (no details)
  • Attempted scam at Hotel Nacional (no details)
  • They hired a cab from 10AM to 6PM for the day at 50CUC (25CUC per 4 hour period). Upon dropoff cabbie claimed he was owed 25CUC/hour. Tried to surround him and John with about 8-9 other cabbies. Lots of arguing. Kieth loses it. Gives his hotel room, name, shows his badge, tells them to call the cops. At that point, they break off.
  • In "scammy" cigar news. Ticket for Partagas Opening dinner jumped from 115 to 120CUC, which turned off many interested parties. Attendance could be low.

Not much stock at many stores. They're hawking the Petit Robusto 10 count boxes hard. Five marcas, two of each for 108CUC.

It seems that the scams are kicking up in numbers. Probably looking to rope in some "gringos".

Sounds like an eventful start to the trip. The airport scam is likely the same that they try often enough where the cash person insists that you gave them $1200 and not the actual $1500.

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1000 boxes of Diplomaticos RE snapped up last week for Venezuelan VIP's. dry.png

Buying their cigars before it all falls apart very, very soon . . . .

Or maybe it was another of the President's family trading drugs for cigars this time jester.gif

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  • They hired a cab from 10AM to 6PM for the day at 50CUC (25CUC per 4 hour period). Upon dropoff cabbie claimed he was owed 25CUC/hour. Tried to surround him and John with about 8-9 other cabbies. Lots of arguing. Kieth loses it. Gives his hotel room, name, shows his badge, tells them to call the cops. At that point, they break off.

We'll see if he gets a call at his hotel room door in a day or two...

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I appreciate the updates, Frank. These multiple scams during this festival time...well, it makes me wonder what the whole point of tourism to Cuba is about! blink.png

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I realize that was not the deal, but, 25CUC per hour in Havana is not that bad a rate for a taxi. Costs $125 -$ 200cuc for a taxi for the day Varadero to Havana return. 6-8hrs. Hate Scammers.

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You guys have never traveled the Maghreb…

And probably don't want to! From just a day in Tangier I get what you're saying shead.gif

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I met up with Keith and crew a few times in Havana. Lovely to meet them and their wives. I think they were having mostly a good time. Sorry to hear about their troubles.

As for me, as always in Havana, the blast of a lifetime. It doesn't matter how many times I go.

I've said it before, for me visiting Cuba is like falling in love. It makes me want to be a better person.

I'll get some posts up when I get organised.

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So more details on some of the stuff as we're all back home.

Standard money scams at the airport and all the hotels. My advice is to do small changes at the airport (because you're going to be tired), use only $100s and separate them on the counter (the lady was super pissed when I did that).

Guaranteed they're going to scam you for minimum $10 CUC, don't feel bad about counting it at the counter in front of them. $10 CUC was the standard 'scam rate' at the hotels.

Police everywhere. Cars pulled over getting tickets, everywhere. The non official taxi's were having to be super careful everywhere we went, although police presence was down significantly at night time.

The normal restaurant / drink scams were almost non-existent. Had only one issue on the trip with water being charged twice and it seemed like a legitimate mistake. At most places drink prices were down, especially at the Nacional, while food prices were way, way up.

Tons, and tons, and tons of regular production 2015 everything, everywhere. Cohiba everything except lancero's, all 2015 production.

No diplomatico's anywhere. The Club Allones we saw on the first day and then no stock until we lucked out Friday.

Havana is stupid busy everywhere. Tourism is visibly up everywhere.

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With all of the scamming going on, I sometimes wonder if I'm actually smoking Cuban Tobacco!

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With all of the scamming going on, I sometimes wonder if I'm actually smoking Cuban Tobacco!

confused.gif Do you realize that cuban tobacco is cheaper than the others?

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I met up with Keith and crew a few times in Havana. Lovely to meet them and their wives. I think they were having mostly a good time. Sorry to hear about their troubles.

As for me, as always in Havana, the blast of a lifetime. It doesn't matter how many times I go.

I've said it before, for me visiting Cuba is like falling in love. It makes me want to be a better person.

I'll get some posts up when I get organised.

Look forward to it Andy!

I look forward to getting back next year spotlight.gif

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Well put Ryan.............."I've said it before, for me visiting Cuba is like falling in love. It makes me want to be a better person."

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Picked up some of the Excelencia Nov.12 in Varadero.

Its nice to see they used a different wrapper and not the generic dark brown wrapper that they seem to be using on everything these days.

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The story of Keith showing his badge and breaking up the gang of cabbies was, well, hot.

And Mrs Keith would agree 100%.

CB.

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Sounds like it is good to go with someone who has been there...

I am hoping to go next year so will have to read up on some of these "scams" to be ready.

Thanks for sharing!

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Has Uber not made it to the island yet?

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Price rise from $115 to $120 for festival tickets and people won't go??? Seriously?

Was more in principal. Went from $100 to $115 pre-announced, then $120 on tickets once there. And word was already travelling that cigars and food would be less than from previous years. Shockingly so. So we just simply said screw it. And not that it's just a $5 change either - with the exchange difference in a single year, it works out to a $40 difference damn near. Eff that.

So, why pay more, for less? We spent less than that to have more fun with way more cigars and booze that night anyways.

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