The story has been told often since the late 1950s. Cuba, a land too familiar with war and revolution, was once again “liberated” from a dictatorship, this time the relatively peaceful reign of Fulgencio Batista who, despite being a dictator, was not a tyrant and was pro-business in his approach to economics. However, freedom as we know it did not come to the people of Cuba. A new regime and dictator – the communist/socialist party of Fidel Castro – came to power and rapidly nationalized industries within the nation. The cigar industry, thriving at the time, was hit very hard. While some stayed, many of the industry’s most knowledgeable and successful people fled Cuba to other Latin American countries where they could start anew. Starting Again in the Dominican Republic Carlos Toraño and his family were among those who left Cuba. Unlike some in the cigar industry who were jailed for their perceived past support of Batiste, men like Silvio Perdomo, they were allowed to leave but could take money and valuables worth only about $100, according to Carlos Toraño. By the way, Silvio Perdomo was not a strong supporter of Batiste, but as a leading executive in the cigar industry – and industry Batiste loved – he was considered by the Castro regime as guilty by association. The Toraño family was a large one – Carlos’ father and his three brothers each had a tobacco farm and company along with large extended families. The families’ land and wealth were taken by the government. The various branches of the family went several ways. Carlos Toraño’s father chose the Dominican Republic due to its fertile soil being so similar to that of Cuba’s Pinal del Rio region. Other Toraño family members headed to Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Brazil, and Spain. The Carlos Toraño Exodus 1959 Cigars The events of 1959 may not be worth celebrating. That’s not what this cigar is about. Instead, it is a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit in forging something good out of hardship and adversity. Carlos Toraño believes that the best cigars in the world are now made outside of Cuba. His view is that the best talent in the business left Cuba and applied what it knew to the soils of the DR, Nicaragua, Honduras and other promising locations. The results are cigars that take the best of Cuba and add something unique to it. Such a cigar is the Carlos Toraño Exodus 1959. The tobaccos used are gathered from those locations his family went to after the exodus. The filler is from the DR, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica. The binder is from Honduras and the wrapper is a Nicaraguan. When you smoke an Exodus 1959, you’re enjoying success made from adversity in a very delicious cigar with an incredible history. It has garnered ratings of 92+ and has been named a Top 25 smoke by several prestigious publications.