Manuel Quesada and the Dominican Republic family's iconic Fonseca brand are gearing up to fiercely compete with an eventual influx of Cuban cigars.
In fact, Quesada told Bloomberg News that he believes many cigars generated under the oppressive Castro regime are inferior. He also is infuriated that Cuban cigars are held in high esteem globally.
Fonseca also is produced in Cuba as a brand controlled by the government.
Quesada concedes that while Cuban soil may be wonderful for producing great tobacco, the island nation's communist rulers have ruined the dedication to the artistic craft of cigar rolling, Quesada told Bloomberg.
"We have nothing to fear from that country. There’s no pride, there’s no care ... We will give (Cuba) the fight of their life. We’re not unprepared,” Quesada contends.
The Quesada family was one of many forced to flee Cuba as the communists nationalized nearly all commerce. Bloomberg reported that these cigar families recreated their old labels from Cuba after looking throughout Latin America to find climate and soil conditions similar to Cuba.
Now, there are two brands called Partagás, two called La Gloria Cubana, two called Montecristo, two called Romeo y Julieta, and two called Hoyo de Monterrey—one made for the U.S. market, the other produced in Cuba to be sold everywhere else, according to Bloomberg.
Pretty much the same thing happened for rum, Bloomberg reported. Bacardi makes an expat version of Havana Club and the Cuban government has partnered with Pernod Ricard to distill its Havana Club - though both sides have been fighting in court for years over who controls the trademark.
READ MORE IN BLOOMBERG NEWS ABOUT THE COMING CIGAR WAR BETWEEN CUBAN EXPATS AND LEGENDARY CUBAN CIGARS