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  Longest cigar-world record set by Jose Castelar
 HAVANA, Cuba -- Cuban cigar roller Jose Castelar Cairo, 65, finished rolling a a 45.38-meter-long (148 feet 9 inches long) cigar-which sets the world record for the Longest hand made cigar.

   Photo By Javier Galeano, AP Photo (enlarge photo)  
   "I'm going to continue until I do one that is the length of the Malecon" he said, referring to Havana's famous 10-kilometer (six-mile) seafront promenade.

It's not easy, he said while handling the custom-made tools of his trade. "You need a lot of concentration and you've got to love what you're doing."

   To make a traditional, 30-centimeter (12-inch) stogie, Castelar said it takes him "just a few minutes."
   "The technique is based on carefully choosing and organizing the (tobacco) leaves into layers, in how you deal with the middle part," he said.
    "The real magic, however, is not just in your hands, its in your heart."

Sixty-five-year-old Jose Castelar smoked his own 2005 record of a 20.41-meter-long (67-foot-long) cigar, and vowed to continue to roll record-breaking creations.

   Cueto had originally conceived the idea of a 33 meter cigar, but changed his mind after he heard that in Puerto Rico someone had made a 41.2 meter long stogie.

   The huge cigar hand-made by Cueto meets the standards of a figurative cigar and was made with first class raw materials from the "vegas" of San Luis and San Juan y Martinez in Pinar del Rio province, believed to be the best land for tobacco growing in the world.

   Cigars and other tobacco products are still one of Cuba's traditional exports, bringing in some 400 million dollars a year from sales in 150 countries.

  Decked out in a traditional white guayabera, Castelar explained he learned to make cigars when he was 14 years old. But the athletic-looking sexagenarian said he limits himself to smoking one cigar a day.

The previous world record of a 30.78 meters cigar was set by US roller Wallace Reyes, during the 11th Edition of the "Cigar Heritage Festival" in Tampa, (USA), on November 18, 2006.

   Formerly, the Cuban expert roller established three marks in the famous record book for the longest hand-rolled cigar; the first in February 2000 with a 11.04 meters cigar, again in November 2003 with one of 14.86 meters long, and a third mark during the 2005 Habano Festival with a 20.41m cigar.

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    Thursday, May 7, 2009 

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