But all that talk about auctioning off humidors personally signed by the ailing Fidel Castro may have been a tad premature.
In the past, these autographed humidors have been purchased by wealthy cigar-smokers with more money than sense for as much as USD500,000 each.
The Castro regime insists the money raised from the verfy capitalist auctions goes straight back into the health system.
Anyway, Reuters quotes a Habanos SA spokesman, Manuel Garcia, as saying that this year's humidors have yet to be signed by the 80-year-old dictator, who has not been seen in public since late July last year.
"The Comandante en Jefe is recovering very well," Garcia assured reporters. "So, we think it’s possible he will autograph the humidors but so far, we have had no confirmation.”
Asked whether Raul Castro - who is supposedly in charge - would attend the gala dinner on the last day of the Festival, Garcia replied that the younger Castro was not a great fan of such events. And anyway, he doesn’t smoke.
We shall see …
UPDATE: Associated Press reports that this year's Habano Festival is unlikely to attract any Hollywood "celebrities" ... because they know the older Castro is highly unlikely to turn up at any of the official functions. Last year, the actor Joseph Finnes turned up. In 2005, it was Jeremy Irons.