At the present day any other country producing tobacco can't compete with Cuba. Cuban tobacco planters claim that besides the climate peculiarities, what makes their tobacco great is the soil rich with minerals.
Cuba produces two main varieties of tobacco - Corojo and Criollo. Criollo leaves are usually used to stuff cigars and those of Corojo traditionally serve as a covering. Now they have transformed to Habana'92 and Habana'2000 respectively, which are the hybrids with better characteristics.
According to Cuban tobacco laws, any cigar can be called "Havana" if the tobacco used to produce it is planted in Cuba. In 1958 the government has set the list of 18 places, where the tobacco that can be called Cuban is planted.
First tobacco plantations appeared on the Haiti Island (previously Santo-Domingo) in 1521 - 50 years earlier than in Cuba. However, due to constant international conflicts considering this small Carribean island, tobacco production started rapid development only after 1962. After the USA has imposed embargo on the import of Cuban cigars and tobacco, the Dominican Republic quickly became very popular with American manufacturers and distributors.
First tobacco plant appeared in Mexico only in 1852. However, the first 100% Mexican cigar was produced only in the beginning of the World War II.
All types of tobacco leaves are successfully cultivated in Mexico: dense and rich flavored covering leaves, soft leaves for stuffing and cohesive leaves which are noted by the experts for their great quality.
Mexican government constantly stimulates the development of the national tobacco production minimizing the import. That is why all cigars produced on the territory of the country are manufactured from the local tobacco only.
This is just another country to thank the US embargo for the rapid development of the local tobacco production. Since the sixties, tobacco is planted almost everywhere in the country. 32 active volcanoes cover the tobacco leaves with the volcanic ashes.
The United States and Dominican Republic are the main importers of the Ecuadorian tobacco.
First Honduranian tobacco plant Flor de Copan was established in 1873, but the local tobacco became popular only in the seventies when Zino Davidoff came to Honduras to manufacture cigars for the American market.
Tobacco-cultivation in this country has a very rich history, almost as rich as those of Cuba or the Dominican Republic. Experts say there are only two countries in the world that can produce cigars with their own tobacco only, and it's not Mexico. It's Cuba and Nicaragua.
The soil in Nicaragua is very fertile and that is why the Nicaraguan tobacco is in some aspects very similar to the Cuban. However, cigar aficionados claim that cigars from Nicaragua are considerably softer than those from Cuba.