International News

The End of the Embargo Could Kill Miami's Cuban Cigar Industry

When did you last travel to Cuba?" the man demanded. "And when was the last time before that? And before that?"

The questions cut through the decades. The room was bigger now. The windows were no longer barred. Men in suits had replaced soldiers in fatigues. And the crackle of firing squads had faded into history.

But for José "Pepe" Montagne, the interrogation echoed back to 1964. Back to when he was a baby. Back to when it was his father -- not he -- being hounded by Fidel Castro's henchmen.

See also: As the Cuban Embargo Fizzles, the Battle for the Cigar Industry Smolders

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.