Close But No Cigar

I publish several web sites that run advertising sold by BlogAds, a broker that has been a financial boon to hundreds of weblogs.

I rejected an ad today from a site that sells Cuban cigars. The site claims that it's legal for Americans to import two boxes, but the language of the site's frequently asked questions page gives me the willies:

The original embargo on Cuban products has been revised by the US Dept of Justice to allow importation of small quantities when returning from a licensed trip to Cuba. This revision was extended to the public who are now allowed to import up to 2 boxes for personal use. There is no formal regulations that outlines the ability for US residents to import Cuban Cigars. There have been thousands of customers importing Cuban Cigars for personal use in the US and there is no history of anyone being prosecuted. Also, it has become a common practice among celebrities, military personnel, politicians and even law enforcement.

A U.S. Treasury brochure on the Cuba embargo seems pretty clear on the subject, stating that Americans can't even buy Cuban products while in foreign countries.

I rejected an absinthe ad last year over similar qualms. When I saw that Google wasn't selling text ads for absinthe, I decided to adopt the same policy.

A Google search for the phrase Cuban cigars finds only one cigar seller in the sponsored ads, and that company won't export to the U.S.



Since it is nigh impossible to get a licensed trip to Cuba you might be on the right track here. I do know for a certain fact that the "2 boxes for personal use" proviso applies when returning from countries that do not have a trade embargo against Cuba. For instance if you travel to Canada, where I believe Cuban cigars are sold freely, you can return with "2 boxes for personal use." I had several friends bring me boxes back while I was in school when they would return home for family trips.

This company seems willing to ship to the U.S.:

If you're coming back from Cuba, US customs will let you bring in a small amount. Last I knew it was under a dollar ammount, something like $100. That's about the same as two boxes.

(My dad has been to Cuba many times for humanitarian work, with full permission from the US government.)

It is now illegal to bring ANY Cuban cigars into the US. Check it out at Will result in a $55,000 fine!!

Why does not the US Government allow us to bring Cuban Cigars. After all if the US Government will get rid of the embargo it will only help US in its economy. So that the residents of US will also have the opportunity to taste the World's best Cigar.

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