Rolando Reyes, Sr. dead at 87

Rolando Reyes, Sr.

Rolando Reyes, Sr.

Rolando Reyes, Sr. died Monday after a lengthy illness. He was 87. Reyes was the founder of Reyes Family Cigars—maker of Puros Indios and Cuba Aliados among others. Reyes was born in Cuba in 1924 and began rolling cigars at age 9 in Remedios near his hometown of Las Villas. Reyes moved up to the H. Upmann factory in Havana before returning to his hometown and setting up his own factory – Los Aliados. Like the other factories, Castro eventually seized it in 1968 and the regime tried to send Reyes to the El Rey del Mundo factory. Rolando refused and was punished. By 1971, he finally was allowed to leave the island and in July, he settled in Union City, N.J.

He initially worked in a textile factory while rolling cigars at night. After two years, he built a house with a factory and called it Cuba Aliados in tribute to his old factory. Eventually the costs of producing cigars in New Jersey became too much so Reyes tried the Dominican Republic but soon was back in New Jersey where he remained until 1984. That year, he moved his operations to Miami, leaving the store in Union City in operation. In 1988. Reyes moved his rolling operation to Honduras. Today, the Union City retail location called Cuba Aliados remains open along with a store at the corporate headquarters in Miami.

According to Carlos Diez, the president of Reyes Family Cigars and Rolando’s grandson, the family patriarch had been in ill health for the past several months. The last thing his grandfather accomplished in Honduras was to begin farming tobacco. The family owned land in the country for years, but Rolando was opposed to growing figuring it was a lot for him to do — running the factory and farming operations. But Carlos prevailed on his grandfather and now the first crops from the fields are being used in the Cuba Aliados Cabinet Reserva. Carlos says this year’s production is limited due to the small initial production, but he expects more tobacco going forward and adds, “we are even planning on growing our own wrapper.”

Figures lie and liars figure

The National Cancer Institute has gone where no sane person has ever gone. They have come up with a study showing that nearly 800,000 lung cancer deaths have been prevented by anti tobacco policies from 1975 to 2000. Wonder what that study cost us? And how do you prove a negative? Can’t be done. If you want to read about the “science “ that goes into the anti tobacco research there is a lengthy paper here. It is called the Plain Truth about Tobacco written by Steve Kelly and it talks about modern day science or lack thereof. (It is good background for fighting those “studies” on second hand smoke.)

Speaking of stupid government antics, you may have heard that the CDC is going to spend (or waste) $54 million over 12 weeks on a new graphic anti-smoking campaign. The CDC says it will encourage 50,000 Americans to stop smoking. Wanna bet? (They could not get that crap on cigarette labels thanks to a federal judge, although they are appealing the decision, so they will go on t-v to lie.)

And if that doesn’t make you uncomfortable, there is a column in the Orange County Register by a professor from the University of Kentucky who says the Obama Administration might ban tobacco.

He bases his theory on what the Health and Human Services Administration has been saying. They call tobacco an epidemic and say it needs to be eradicated. (Both the CDC and National Cancer Institute are a part of HHS.)

Says Rodu:

In a relentless and unscientific bid to “end” the “tobacco epidemic,” federal government officials are deliberately misapplying causation from smoking, a legitimate risk factor for many diseases, to tobacco in general.

Think it couldn’t happen? Over in Britain they are cracking down on Hookah bars. You see hookah smoking is illegal indoors because of the British strict anti-smoking laws. But since it is a legal activity and people don’t want to sit outside, the hookah bars are going underground. (Gee who’d have thought?) Now the officials are worried about fires from the hookahs being inside.

The amazing thing is that the WHO (World Health Organization) and the dumb BBC reporter says a 40 minute Hookah session is the equivalent of smoking 100 cigarettes. Really? Over 2 per minute? I guess the shisha must be huge, I mean one is equal to 10 cartons? Yet the reporter says those surveyed thought it was less than 10 cigarettes per session. Carl V. Phillips takes the BBC and WHO to task saying this is pure fiction.

But let’s set aside the crazy option of Ms. Sturdey doing some research before writing her article, and just consider what would happen if she had a third-grader’s command of math and had thought about what she was writing during a quick trip to the restroom (or rather, I suppose, it would be the loo):

Hmm — “volume of smoke inhaled”. To smoke 100 cigarettes in 40 minutes would be more than two per minute. That is much faster than anyone smokes, and indeed would require more total inhaling then someone normally does in that much time, and for every breath to be smoke. That is close to physically impossible.

She would then have time during her inevitable hand washing — she is a health reporter after all — to think:

Smoking even 10 cigarettes in 40 minutes would require about 1/5th of all breaths to be a solid drag. Smoking that much that fast would be an extreme intense session, whatever was being smoked. Gee, maybe “those surveyed” are not morons after all.

Set your DVR

On Thursday night, Rocky Patel will be on John Stossel’s program on the Fox Business Network. The show airs at 9pm EDT. Rocky is on to talk about the the state of the premium cigar business and more importantly about how the FDA could really put us out of business. If you miss it Thursday, the show re-airs on Saturday & they say check local listings.


A member of US Special Forces smokes a cigar in Afghanistan (REUTERS/Erik De Castro

A member of the U.S. military’s Special Forces smokes a cigar while holding a weapon as his unit leaves for a mission at Forward Operating Base Joyce in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan March 13, 2012. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

I saw this photo last week and it reminded me how much our troops appreciate cigars. Here in Dallas, we have been sending smokes overseas since the war began. If you want to participate, you can go to the Kabul cigar club page on facebook and try to get a name from them so you can send cigars. Or do what we do…ask around someone you know has a son or daughter over there. Get their name and adderess and send a package. Even if they do not smoke cigars, they have others in their unit who do and they appreciate it. Let them know you are thinking about their service.

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