Cuban Cigars – Declared “Among the best in the world”

Go Lean Commentary

Cuban Cigars PhotoThis is something good to hear: “your product is considered among the best in the world”.

The product in this case is a cigar…Cuban cigars from local cultivation.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean recognizes and honors the core competence of the Caribbean, the “things that we do best in the world”.

The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a technocratic federal government to administer and optimize the economic/security/governing engines of the region’s 30 member-states – including Cuba.

Despite that Cuba has been largely ignored for the last 50 years, due to the 1959 Revolution, expansion of communism, US trade embargo and 50 years of isolation, the legacy of Cuban cigar quality has been preserved. That “best in the world” designation is contemporary. This is evidenced by the adoration being placed on the First Family of Cuban Tobacco as Hirochi Robaina makes his first US visit, as depicted in the foregoing news article. See this article here and the accompanying appendix and VIDEO below:

By: Caribbean News Now Contributor

Title: Cuban cigar legend visits US

OLDE NAPLES, USA — For the first time in history, Hirochi Robaina, head of the legendary Robaina family tobacco plantation, established in 1845 in Cuba, will visit the United States to meet with fellow cigar connoisseurs in Olde   Naples, Florida.

Hirochi, grandson of the late Alejandro Robaina[a], who was known as the most famous Cuban tobacco grower of all time, will be in Olde Naples on Friday and Saturday [July 25 & 26, 2014].

This momentous occasion will give Robaina fans the unique opportunity to spend time with Hirochi to discuss the finer side of cigars, the Robaina family traditions, and his vision for the future.
Caribbean News Now – Online Regional Source  (Posted 07-25.2014) –

See VIDEO here of interview with Hirochi Robaina on his early hit-and-miss with Cigar Critic James Suckling. (Source:

The Caribbean is the “best in the world” in a number of endeavors; (i.e. the current world record-holder for the 100 meter dash – Usain Bolt – is from Jamaica). Thanks to this Cuban (Robaina) family’s legacy, cigars are also recognized as one of those “best” contributions. The United Nations cultural institutions have even recognized the physical region around the Robaina’s plantation – Vinales Valley in Pinar del Río Province – as a World Heritage Site – one of the listed 21 for the Caribbean region.  These facts are not ignored in the Go Lean…Caribbean book. In fact, Cuba is not ignored at all. This island is the largest population base in the Caribbean, with 11,236,444 people (as of 2010). This Go Lean empowerment effort for the region contemplates all that Cuba has to offer. There are many positives.

There are negatives too.

Go Lean…Caribbean is not a dream; it does not “white-wash” the region with broad strokes. It acknowledges the historicity of Cuba; there is a current trade embargo with the US and there are US$ 6 Billion of unsettled civil judgments against the Cuban government. The book admits that confederating with Cuba into the rest of the region is a “Big Idea” for the Caribbean. This roadmap therefore does the heavy-lifting in a detailed, turn-by-turn plan for reconciling the 55 year-old rift in US-Cuban relations.

This commentary has previously highlighted topics and dimensions of an eventual Cuban integration into the Caribbean brotherhood, as sampled here: Cuba mulls economy in Parliament session America’s War on the Caribbean Cuban cancer medication registered in 28 countries Cuba Approves New “Law on Foreign Investment”

At the outset, the Go Lean roadmap recognizes the significance of Cuban reconciliation into any Caribbean integration with this statement in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

xiii.   Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

A lot of people (their time, talent and treasuries) fled Cuba over the decades because of their political and ideological differences with the Castro government there. But now, the Castro regime is coming to an end – Raul Castro, the current President, and brother of founding revolutionary Fidel Castro, has announced that he will relinquish power in the year 2017.

What will become of Cuba then?
What of its economy?
What of its production of the “world’s finest” cigars?

It is more than just hope to preserve and elevate Cuba’s agriculture production. This book presents a comprehensive roadmap for doing so. The roadmap encourages the fostering of “genius” in the region, as has been the legacy of the Robaina family. If they have survived these past decades despite the oppressive conditions of Cuba’s revolution and US trade sanctions, imagine how much more they will thrive under a new CU regime.

So the planning must start now. The Caribbean is hereby urged to lean-in to the following community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to re-boot Cuba; as detailed in the book Go Lean … Caribbean sampled here:

Community   Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Communimty   Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community   Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community   Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community   Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community   Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community   Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategic   – Vision – Integrating Region in to a   Single Market Page 45
Strategic   – Core Competence – Specialty Agriculture Page 58
Tactical –   Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical –   Separation of Powers – Federal Courts – Truth & Reconciliation   Commissions Page 90
Tactical –   Separation of Powers – Department of Agriculture – Licensing / Inspections Page 88
Implementation – Assemble & Create Super-Regional Organs to represent all Caribbean Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Foreign Policy Initiatives at Start-up Page 102
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Benefit from Globalization Page 119
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Cuba Page 127
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Cuba Page 236
Advocacy – Ways to Promote World-Heritage-Sites Page 248
Appendix – World Heritage Sites – #21 Cuba’s Vinales Valley & Pinar del Río Province Page 332

The foregoing article addresses the issue of legacy preservation. This subject impacts economics, security and governance. The Go Lean book focuses heavy on these issues, but also on important non-financial issues – cultural identity and image. The Go Lean roadmap addresses the specific cultural issues such as music, sports, art, education, repatriation and heritage. It is unfortunate that most of Cuba’s history has been neutralized since 1959, because this island nation has so much to offer. They have a vibrant past. According to the foregoing article, they have preserved some of that past, right into the present.

The Go Lean roadmap maintains that change is coming to the Caribbean in general and Cuba in particular, so that they will also have a vibrant future.

Cuba será libre! Cuba can … and will become a better place to live, work and play.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix a: Alejandro Robaina (March 20, 1919 – April 17, 2010)

Robaina, was known as a Cuban tobacco grower; he was born in Alquízar in La Habana Province of Cuba but grew up and lived most of his life in the renowned tobacco-growing Vuelta Abajo district of Pinar del Río Province where his family had been growing tobacco since 1845. He became involved with his family’s tobacco growing business at the age of ten, having smoked his first cigar just shortly before then. He took over the operations of the plantation after the death of his father Maruto Robaina—also an acclaimed tobacco grower—in 1950 and remained an independent grower even after the 1959 Cuban Revolution when plantations were often absorbed into cooperative organizations. In a 2006 interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine, Robaina stated that he spoke with Castro and that he “told Fidel I did not like cooperatives or state farms and that the best way to grow tobacco was through family production. He wanted me to join a cooperative and I told him no.”

The tobacco leaves from Robaina’s plantations are often considered among the best in the world and have been used by high quality cigars brands such as Cohiba and Hoyo de Monterrey. Robaina himself has been dubbed the “Godfather of Cuban tobacco.”

During the 1990s, Robaina was recognized by the Cuban government as the country’s best tobacco grower. In 1997, Vegas Robaina cigar brand was created by the Cuban government-owned company Habanos S.A. to honour Robaina’s accomplishments in the industry, although cigar experts have had a hard time detecting Robaina’s tobacco in the cigar and Robaina himself never provided a definitive answer. Robaina is the only tobacco grower with a Cuban cigar named after himself and has spent several decades travelling the world as Cuba’s unofficial tobacco and cigar ambassador. His travelling subsided as he got older and he received visits at his home and plantation by thousands of cigar enthusiasts and tourists annually.

[Today, a box of 25 of the Vegas Robaina brand cigars can go for between $300 and nearly $500. Hirochi Robaina said his grandfather always said the most important element in growing top tobacco is not the seed or the climate, but the soil. “The land is everything,” he said].

Alejandro Robaina was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and died on April 17, 2010 in his home on his tobacco plantation near San Luis, Pinar del Río. He handed over the majority of the day-to-day operations of the plantation to his grandson Hirochi several years before his death. – Source: Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia; retrieved July 24, 2014 from:

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