Date: April 2010
Author: Cigar Inspector

Alejandro Robaina

Today is a very sad day for the cigar industry. The legend of Cuban cigars, Alejandro Robaina, died Saturday at the age of 91.

HAVANA — Cuban tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina, an international symbol of the island’s cigar-making prowess, died Saturday. He was 91.

Cuban state television announced his death, and the state tobacco concern Habanos SA, which produces the Robaina brand cigar, said on its website that he was the “victim of a somber illness.”

The only Cuban grower with a cigar brand named after him, Robaina traveled for decades as an unofficial global ambassador for the island’s stogies. Into his final days, he could be found smoking cigars in a rocking chair on his front port in San Luis, in westernmost Pinar de Rio Province.

He worked the fields in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba’s most-famous cigar-growing region, where Habanos — a joint venture between the communist government and Britain’s Imperial Tobacco Group PLC — produced Robainas.

Born in the town of Alquizar on March 20, 1919, Robaina began working his family’s fields from the time he was 10. He remained in Cuba when that land was nationalized after the revolution that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power on New Year’s Day 1959.

Robaina became famous for the top-quality tobacco he helped produce and was honored numerous times by the Castro government.

“He left an indelible mark on the history of Cuban tobacco,” Havana’s Radio Reloj reported.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

Copyright Associated Press

3 thoughts on “Alejandro Robaina dies at 91

  1. What a great blog, very few poeple have notice the passing of such a legend!

    But, Robaina was blessed with a Grandson that now runs the show, Hiroshi, Who I am sure will carry on the great traditions of the past. Aficionados the world over have traveled to see and learn from this Master as to know the man who is responsible for some of the best known cigars on the planet. Now Hiroshi has big shoes to fill, and has been doing so for some time so no worries.

    Robaina has always been an independent tobacco grower, even after Casto took power, leaving us knowing the resolve and strength of purpose of such a man. His tobacco was even awarded the best in country by the Cuban Government and Casto himself in the mid 90’s gave Robaina the award.

    My feeling is that as the torch gets carried into this new decade of 2010 plus, we are in the midst of many more changes of the guard and with new growing techniques and more quality land from Nicaragua, Ecuador to Wisconsin being cultivated the better cigars we will all see. So a toast to Robaina and his family as I will surely sit out on my dock tonight and enjoy a great cigar and a nice drab of 30 year old Laphroaig in remembrance and in wonder of the past and future.

    Life is a pleasure.

  2. I might light up a VR Famosos this week in his honor.

  3. Lets show respect for Mr.Robaina you always miss the great ones a cigar in heaven sir going to light a big stoggie in his honor-FC.

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