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Cuba in a Global ContextInternational Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism$
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Catherine Krull

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049106

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049106.001.0001

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Transnationalism and the Havana Cigar

Transnationalism and the Havana Cigar

Commodity Chains, Networks, and Knowledge Circulation

(p.227) 13 Transnationalism and the Havana Cigar
Cuba in a Global Context

Jean Stubbs

University Press of Florida

After 1959, when the US declared its trade embargo on Cuba, a race began to produce a quality “Havana cigar” and leaf elsewhere in the Caribbean. This was a new twist to a long history, leading to often-disputed identical brands produced by island and émigré Cubans; distributed through parallel chains, networks, and circuits; and promoted through high-profile cigar conferences and events in Cuba and abroad. In turn, this phenomenon created a complex multi-tiered licit and illicit system aiming to capitalize on the prestige of the “authentic” product, with brand disputes and international court cases. The Havana cigar, however, has been elevated to almost iconic status, which makes it of particular interest as a prism to explore broader issues. Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic are used to illustrate this, in tandem with not only Cuba but also their own transnational commodity and migration histories.

Keywords:   Cuba, Transnationalism, Havana Cigars, Cigars, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic

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