Nothing worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve … and you keep at it until you have achieved ☼ Robert H. Lauer

El Bloqueo: The Swiss Cuban Cigar Trade

Habanos...

Grand Genève. The Capital of World Peace.  “The most boring city in all of Europe.” … and illicit hub for the Habanos cigar trade?

The 1962 U.S. embargo on Cuban goods may have seen reinforcement in the 1996 Helms – Burton Act, but in many cases there’s no touching the Swiss and their sneaky ways. Apparently banking isn’t their only attraction under the radar.

Perfectly aware of the increasing business from these transactions, several websites have risen in Switzerland with the sole intent of getting Americans’ money with the supposed ability to somehow bypass the embargo.

Sites such as Swiss Cigar Bank, Swiss Cuban Cigars (since reported for allegedly selling fakes!), Top Cuban cigars, Cigar One, Cigars of Cuba, Cigar Terminal, Don Ciggaro, and many more (Ridiculous I know – it is a small country!) have instigated the trend:

1. (Legally) Import cigars from Cuba to a physical shipping center in Switzerland.

2. Sell to American citizen online or in person, but only allow transactions payable by wire transfer or cash if billing address and/or account (depending on website) is located in the U.S. 

Sound reliable? It’s probably not.

Foolish Americans who tempt fate by challenging good old el bloqueo could have huge consequences.

Trying to take your Cohibas, Partagas, and Romone Allones home? Transgressors of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515, are subject to: TSA officials incinerating their Habanos right in front of their eyes, fines up to $250,000, and even jail time up to ten years.

Use your time abroad to explore Habanos. Back home – please enjoy your Dominicans. (I wont even go into Dominicans vs. Nicaraguans :D)☼

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Categorised in: Culture☼, Travel☼

2 Responses »

  1. So weird to imagine a Swiss smuggling trade..

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