Turns out President Obama capped off Wednesday, a day that marked the dawn of a new relationship between the U.S. and Cuba with what else: A cigar. And, according to the gift giver, it was a Cuban.
When a guest at one of two White House Hanukkah receptions handed one to Obama, he gave it a sniff.
“I had the unique distinction of gifting the President of the United States with one of Cuba’s finest cigars, a Montecristo Series at the White House…after a ceremony in which a Menorah was lit,” John Berzner, who offered the cigar to the president on Wednesday, told ABC News.Berzner said when he was preparing to leave his Colorado home Tuesday for the annual White House Hanukkah Party, he selected one cigar from the box to bring with him.
Little did he know, of course, that Wednesday would be a landmark day in U.S.-Cuba relations with the freeing of American Alan Gross after five years of imprisonment in the country and the softening of long-hardened diplomatic relations with Cuba.
On Wednesday, the president announced an increase in the amount of Cuban goods authorized U.S. travelers to Cuba can bring back to the states, including tobacco. However, those revised regulations have not yet gone into effect. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.
When Berzner handed the cigar to the president, he said: “Mr. President, a Cuban cigar for you!”
“Oh, nice!” Obama replied as he lifted the cigar up from the crowd.
“The finest,” Berzner said as Obama raised the cigar to his nose to sniff.
The president approved, telling Berzner, “Pretty good!”
Nigel Savage, who was also a guest at the event and shot the video, added, “The president definitely looked like he appreciated a good Cuban cigar.”
There’s no telling what the president ultimately did with the gift.