As tradition has it every year, once again the city of Havana is gathering Habano lovers and followers into what’s meant to be a friendly celebration around one common interest. This edition is one more step in Habanos S.A.’s commitment to developing new products in keeping with the demands and needs of the market, always providing high-quality and exclusive items. The schedule of this year’s festival also includes the world premieres of the new Montecristo Gran Reserva Cosecha 2005, the Partagas Series D No.5 and Series E No.2, as well as the H.Upmann Half Corona. Roughly 1,500 people from 80 countries are attending this world-class event, a scenario to assess results, get in touch with tobacco planters and cigar rollers in the fields and in the factories, to attend presentations and tasting sessions of new Habanos, share marketing ideas and strategies that could guarantee both market availability and variety. The Festival is the best spokesperson of the excellences and fundaments of the quality of Habano. For Habanos S.A., Cuba’s tobacco industry –from agriculture all the way to the factories– and the Regulatory Council, this gathering is a wonderful opportunity to welcome friends and open up the gateways of their own centennial world by letting visitors into their histories, successes and projections, like one big family that only has a weeklong reunion every year, yet it makes the most of that opportunity to pay tribute to the island nation’s most emblematic product, rubbing elbows with boldface names from the realm of culture, haute cuisine, cinema, fashion and the arts, celebrities who always show up in Havana during these days. From February 21 to 25, Havana becomes the center stage of choice to bear out Cuba’s undisputed leadership and rooted tradition in the production and sale of premium cigars. And it’s also the perfect moment to puff on and cozy up to the most emblematic Cuban product of all, to visit factories and tobacco plantations for five days of exchanges, celebrations and high spirits, together with producers, distributors and salespeople who deal with what is no doubt considered one of the symbols of this land and an expression of genuine art

Jose Carlos de Santiago