Friday, 22 June 2012

Postcard of the Day No. 55, Baling Havana Tobacco

This is another postcard trip to the island of Cuba – a soporific image of back-breaking manual labour from a century past. An air of lethargy and resignation hangs over the clearly posed workforce, captured in suspended animation. Cuban tobacco has always been a premium product generating enormous profits for producers and processors. Hand-formed into large cylinders, inserted between the lips and ignited, it endures as a marker of taste and status for connoisseurs everywhere (except the US). Before signing the US embargo on trade with Cuba in 1962, President Kennedy ordered a personal supply of 1200 Cuban cigars (H. Upmann Petit Coronas). Fifty years of boycott has had no notable impact on the Castro regime’s capacity for survival and tobacco remains one of Cuba’s principle exports. The bonus cards show a tobacco barn (where the leaves are dried and cured) and a plantation. 

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