Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Man...once you're under scrutiny, it's hard to be a hypocrite:
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes, according to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a cigar is an economic prop to a brutal totalitarian regime. Arguing against loosening sanctions against Cuba last year, DeLay warned that Fidel Castro "will take the money. Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands.... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor."

DeLay has long been one of Congress' most vocal critics of what he calls Castro's "thugocracy," which is why some sharp-eyed TIME readers were surprised last week to see a photo of the Majority Leader smoking one of Cuba's best—a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona, which generally costs about $25 when purchased overseas and is not available in this country. The cigar's label clearly states that it was made in "Habana." The photo was taken in Jerusalem on July 28, 2003, during a meeting between DeLay and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Cigar for me but not for thee! I'm not aficionado enough to know why Cubans are so prized. When I was a wee bit younger I figured it was because they got you high - like rolling a mild hallicinogen in with the tobacco, perhaps some local "weed" or something. I wonder how much of the hype around Cubans is solely because they can't be legally imported - the old forbidden fruit syndrome.

Well, at least Delay didn't cram it in an intern, right?


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