Zoe Nocedo – Museo del Tabaco in Havana

17 Dec


nfc capA very pleasant and educative 3 half days of my visit were spent with the most charming and kind person, Sra Zoe Nocedo Primo, the director of the Museo del Tabaco, located in old Havana, a few steps away from the Hostal Conde de Villanueva on Calle Mercaderes.

Even though I dropped by unannounced, she graciously took more than an hour to share a cigar and Cuban coffee with me while talking about the many shared friends and the Museum – it was only a (non-smoking Italian ) friend’s impatience that made me leave this oasis of tranquillity that was her office and the fun with her vivacious granddaughter Daniela, an accomplished young ballerina, who took some of our pictures.

I returned with more time and invited Zoe out to a long and relaxed lunch in the Plaza Vieja after attending one of her “Diplomado del Tabaco” classes to an eager audience of over 40 professionals learning for that diploma.

Again, we shared notes and comments about the cigar world and enjoyed a long conversation topped off by cafe at El Escorial across from the restaurant.

She then kindly invited me to attend a Tertulia a few days later that she held at the Hotel Florida in honour of Sra Telvia Marin, a 90 yr old Anthropologist and historian and of  Sr Enrique Mons, the former manager of the Club Habana LCDH.

Interesting to hear about Enrique’s path to the tobacco industry.

He arrived in Havana at age 15 and became a roller, was then a soldier at the Bay of Pigs invasion, a revolutionary who fulfilled “Internationalist missions” in Ethiopia and Angola, a QC manager for Cubatabaco, founder of the first LCDH in Cuba, 5-ta y 16 and then manager at the Club Habana LCDH. He was nominated last year for Habano Man of the year at the annual Festival del Habano.

This tribute was held by Sr Norberto Perez, his successor at Club Habana.

A most pleasant time with this great lady and certainly not my last meeting with her.




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