Havana Cigar Festival Draws True Aficionados

March 4, 2006 - Posted at 1:31 p.m. CST

HAVANA (AP) _ Cigars lovers are descending on Cuba this month

for Havana's annual cigar festival.

Connoisseurs from around the world are experiencing supreme

stogies that they say bring them pleasure, peace and often big


One aficionado says people need to know how to smoke a good

cigar. He says it should not be smoked like a cigarette and should

not be smoked in a disco.

People at the cigar festival get to visit cigar factories and

plantations and network with distributors. Multimillionaire

businessmen and mysterious figures mingle with publishers,

musicians and engineers.

Cigars are one of Cuba's most important exports, worth about 340

million dollars annually. But trade restrictions against

communist Cuba prevent the island's cigars from legally entering

the U.S. market.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)