Stateside

Rightwing hypocrisy watch

In an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine, rightwing talk-radio megastar Rush Limbaugh lovingly described his purchase and enjoyment of Cuban cigars.

“I have always been interested in getting the best that I could afford, whatever it is. So I was just dying to taste some of these Cubans. I was reading all about the Cohibas and the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas. And then I went to London last September with the same friend who had the pre-Castro Montecristos.’’

Limbaugh stayed at the Connaught Hotel, “and I got up on a Friday morning and walked across the street to Desmond Sautter’s. And I was in heaven.’’ The store didn’t have any Hoyos, he says, “but they had some Punch Double Coronas and Partagas Lusitanias and Montecristo No. 2’s. And I tried them. And I don’t care what anybody says. I know it’s a matter of taste, but as far as I’m concerned, this is something that not even the Communists have been able to screw up. It’s the best tobacco in the world. There’s no comparison. This is not to put anybody else’s down. I’ve looked into it. I’ve studied it. It’s like Bordeaux grapes. You can try growing them in California, but they’re not the same. They’ve taken Cuban seed to Jamaica and Honduras, but it just isn’t the same.’’

Limbaugh loves sitting back and relaxing with a cigar. “Of course you have to save the Cuban cigars for special occasions. I like keeping things special in my life. So I do smoke some Honduran Punches now and then. And I still have a box of Ashtons and Partagas No. 10’s. But this is a special occasion. Being interviewed by Cigar Aficionado is a special occasion. And this Ramon Allones Gigante is a hit. This is like five Cohiba Robustos rolled into one.’’

Not being a cigar aficionado, I have no idea what the hell Rush is talking about, except that he took the opportunity of a visit to London to break US sanctions against importing products of Communist Cuba.

Now as a social democrat/democratic socialist, I make an effort not to buy items produced in countries whose governments repress free trade unions. With China seemingly manufacturing most of the world’s goods these days, that’s getting harder and harder, but I try. But I’d like to believe that even if I was a cigar aficionado, I would resist the temptation to puff on a Cuban stogie as long as the Castro regime forbids the island’s cigar workers from freely organizing and striking.

So does this mean that on the Cuban-cigar issue, I’m (shudder) to the right of Rush Limbaugh?

(Via The Progress Report.)

Update: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Further update: Some commenters insist that Rush did not violate US sanctions if he brought Cuban cigars to the US. Here is the relevant provision (pdf) from the website of the US Department of the Treasury.

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