BUSINESS
12/17/2014 12:22 pm ET Updated Dec 17, 2014

Cuban Cigars About To Become Legal Again

Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images

It’s the end of an era: Cuban cigars are about to become legal again in the U.S.

President Barack Obama’s loosening of trade and diplomatic relations with Cuba, announced on Wednesday, includes a provision that lets American travelers to Cuba bring back $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which can be tobacco and/or alcohol.

“That can include cigars,” a senior administration official told a group of reporters in a conference call on Wednesday.

You just can’t sell the Cuban cigars, or the Cuban rum or whatever, to anybody else when you get back to the States.

President John F. Kennedy first made Cuban cigars illegal in the U.S. as part of a broad embargo in 1962 -- though not before ordering 1,000 of them for himself. There was a time when the relative few Americans authorized to travel to Cuba could bring back $100 worth of cigars, though that loophole had lately been closed.

The ethics of buying goods made by low-paid workers in lousy conditions in a totalitarian regime is your business, of course.

CONVERSATIONS