Executives from Cuba's largest cigar maker, Habanos say they'll soon capture up to a third of the U.S. market if the embargo is lifted. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Cuban cigars are beloved and hard to come by in the U.S. But that may not be the case for long if America lifts its half-century-old ban against Cuban exports. At a news conference in Havana, Cuba, executives from cigar-maker Habanos, predict as soon as the doors are opened, their cigars will represent up to a third of the U.S. premium cigar market right away. And more beyond that says Vice President of Development, Javier Terres Ercilla. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT AT CUBAN CIGAR-MAKER HABANOS S.A, JAVIER TERRES ERCILLA, SAYING: "Our future market share to reach in the United States is 70 percent. It is clear it will be reached in the long run." Habanos plans to sell up to 90 million cigars to start. Ever since the U.S. and Cuba announced in December that they are restoring diplomatic relations, prospects for a lifted embargo have been looking up.