REPORTS

Cuban dedicates 90m-long cigar to Fidel Castro on 90th birthday

Friday, 12 August 2016

A Cuban cigar maker broke his own record on Friday by rolling the world's longest cigar at 90 meters (295 feet), the length of a soccer field, dedicating the monster smoke to Fidel Castro ahead of the retired leader's 90th birthday.

Castro, who took power in Cuba's 1959 revolution and ruled for nearly half a century, was often seen puffing on his favored, long and thin lancero model until he quit in 1985.

For Cueto, a 72-year-old who learned cigar rolling when he was 5 years old, it is a matter of national pride for Cuba to keep the record.

Cueto eclipsed his previous record of around 82 meters (270 feet) with his new masterpiece, which took 10 days to roll with the help of several assistants in an old Spanish colonial era fort overlooking Havana Bay.

Cigars have been Cuba's signature product ever since Christopher Columbus saw natives smoking rolled up tobacco leaves when he first sailed to the Caribbean island in 1492.

Cuba is awash with tributes to Castro ahead of his birthday on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, 90 people donated blood at a small school in Artemisa province in his honor.

The length of the cigar was verified by a British Embassy official, who said the information would be sent in a letter to Guinness World Records requesting confirmation of the record.

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