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Global Recession Reaches Cuba - Cutbacks on Tobacco

The worldwide economic slump has reached into global humidors. The Cuban cigar industry is cutting back its plantings of tobacco, and officials are blaming the economy.

According to a Reuters story published this week, the Cuban tobacco industry has cut plantings by nearly 30 percent and expects to harvest 16 percent less tobacco than in the 2008-09 season. Cuban officials placed the blame on the global economy and cited financial restrictions prohibiting proper investment in the tobacco crop.

Cuban tobacco plantings, said Reuters, were cut to 19,800 hectares (48,888 acres) from 28,200 hectares (69,629 acres), a 28.8 percent decrease.