From the Beginning.
Founded during the Cuban emancipation in the late mid-19th century, LA LEY is an old traditional cigar brand. Dating back to the times of independence and the expansion of liberalism in Cuba, LA LEY was created in the midst of tumultuous times for the country and her peoples. This was a period when moral standards and human values where highly promoted and practiced among the Cuban society.
Just after the conclusion of the Ten Years' War (1868-1878, first Independence war), Spanish authorities in Cuba rectified the colonial system by allowing more freedoms. Among different measures were the democratization of the administrations, and the legalization of cultural centers, political parties, unions, and cooperatives. But soon domestic and international social and economic factors created the conditions for a new independence movement to emerge.
In parallel, the labor movement was getting organized and the first union Gremlo de Obreros del Ramo de Tabaquerias (GORT, Guild of the Workers of the Tobacco Leaves) was created in 1878. The GORT had already 4000 members by July, 1879 in La Habana and was publishing a newspaper called La Razon (The Reason).
In January, 1879, the first cooperative of Cuba, La Reguladora (412 Amistad, Centro Habana) was created. Very soon it established a lodging and restaurant which served as a meeting point for workers. Soon after, two other cooperatives were to see the light in La Habana: La Igualdad (The Equality) and La Idea (The Idea). In 1884, within La Habana alone, there were 29 unions, cooperatives, or mutual-aid societies registered (of which 8 were founded by tobacco workers). This quick expansion of labor associations in Cuba played a major role in promoting liberty and equality.
Stronger social organizations, desires for greater freedom, the abolition of slavery (1886), growth of prosperous social classes, rising of urban populations, and the strengthening of Spanish control, all contributed to domestic pressure and the start of the second war of independence in 1895.
The zeal and commitment of Cubans eventually created the conditions to put the island on the path of independence. In 1898, with the intervention of the United States of America, the Spanish crown was defeated and Cuba was en route to independence. In 1902, Cuba was officially independent with the cessation of direct US military occupation.
Revolutionary, visionary, thinker and writer, "Apostle of the Cuban Independence", Jose Marti (1853-1895) is the perfect example of those men that had moral belief guide every single action of their life. Killed in action in a skirmish with Spanish troops, Jose Marti thoughts and writings are eloquent:
"Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise ofreason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity:"
"Every human being has within him an ideal man, just as every piece ofmarble contains in a rough state a statue as beautiful as the one that Praxiteles the Greek made of the god Apollo."
Ethics were omnipresent in the Cuban society during this important epoch of the country history. Hence, references to moral standards and progressive ideas are found in the arts (literature, paintings, sculptures, etc.) and also in the economy. Essential sectors of the island's economy such as the tobacco and cigar industry were proudly using moral and progressive names as trademarks or company name in different facets. LA LEY (The Law) was one example.
Other cigar brand names refering to values are La Igualdad (The Equality, C. del Peso y Cia, La Habana), Mi Ideal (My Ideal, C. Rivero Alvarez, Santiago de las Vegas), La Lealtad (the Loyalty, Cifuentes, Pego y Cia, La Habana), and La Democracia (The Democracy, Fernandez-Havana Cigar Co., Guanabacoa).
Now, early in the 21st century, LA LEY cigars are to be revived with the same emotions and engagement towards moral values that were endorsed during their first incarnation. In its renaissance, LA LEY inherits the legacy of those ideas and values. Embodying moral standards as one core value, LA LEY reflect this ethic in the cigar art and environment.
Eduardo ABE1A (1889-1965)