by Cuba Journal staff
In early 1962, President John F. Kennedy called his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, into his office to discuss an urgent matter.
“I really need some help,” said Kennedy.
“What do you want, Mr. President?” Salinger replied.
“I need some cigars,” JFK replied.
“Fine,” Salinger answered. “How many do you need?”
“A thousand,” said the president.
“When do you need them?”
JFK said, “By tomorrow morning”
“That’s a very tough assignment, but I’ll see what I can do” Salinger replied.
Kennedy not only needed an urgent delivery but he wanted H. Upmann Petits, his favorite. Hiding in Kennedy’s desk was Proclamation 3447, which would impose sweeping restrictions on all US trade with Cuba – this is the embargo that remains today. By 8am the following day, Salinger delivered a shipment of 1,200 Cuban Petits, and the President signed the embargo into law.
photo credit: Cecil (Cecil William) Stoughton