Drezner on Cuba

If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend Dan Drezner’s piece on Cuba from yesterday:  Every big question you have about the U.S. opening to Cuba, answered

FILED UNDER: Latin America, US Politics, World Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    He’s wrong about Cuban cigars. They are excellent in many cases, but not overall better than the best Nicaraguan or Honduran. In matters of taste few people are able to separate expectations from the actual observable phenomenon.

    Also, sadly, by increasing demand sharply in a product which cannot readily increase supply we’ll just set off a price increase which will draw more mediocre Cuban cigars onto the market, depress the quality of Cubans and in the process perhaps damage better-quality Nicaraguan and Honduran cigar companies.

  2. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Something about forbidden fruit being sweeter, I suppose.

    Still, the whole cigar thing is way over.

    When everyone knows that tobacco is an outrageous health hazard… it’s kinda hard to get excited about it.

    Sorta like putting a gun in your mouth and saying what a great taste it has.

    Add to that the smell, stains and burns… No thanks.

    But still, the trade will be fairly on sided: They will export tobacco and rum (much like Caribbean economies of 150 years ago), and we will sell them everything that is not nailed down.

    Plus, more beach access… real estate is a huge thing, but may create a backlash (once Cubans begin to realize that they can’t afford to live in Cuba).

  3. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: I would agree on Cuban cigars. We can buy Cubanos of various brands and grades here in Korea, and most of the really accessible ones by price, say less than $25-30/each are not any better than Honduran or Nicaraguan cigars that I buy for much less when I am in the states. Of course, at my economic level, I’m not buying any cigars at the really good level, but my guess is that the same factors occur across the board.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    I used to pick them up whenever I went to the UK and bring some back with me (cause it’s fun sneaking things past customs) , but UK taxes (and London rents) have driven prices so high I actually bring my own Nicaraguans with me when I go over there.

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Actually, the studies that have looked at non-inhalers of cigars who smoke one or two a day found essentially un-detectable effects on mortality. Churchill lived to 91, smoking roughly 10 times what I do. On the other hand, Ulysses Grant died of cancer at age 63. But he smoked 20 times what I do. Neither man got two oral cancer screenings a year.

    Life is short. We all die. I’ll mitigate damage where I can, but I’m not going to spend my life scared of its end.

  5. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @michael reynolds:

    but I’m not going to spend my life scared of its end. ”

    I’m with you on being fearless unto death, but that doesn’t mean that I have to suck on some burning leaves to inject a drug.

    So many other ways to get the dopamine going, but sorry, on this, I’m not with ya.