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COHIBA CUBAN PRESIDENT FIDEL CASTRO
Cuban President Fidel Castro enjoys a cigar in 1978 before he gave up smoking stogies. The Cohiba cigar turns 30 Friday, Feb. 28, 1997, and a big party in Havana is planned. The cigar was the first created under a Communist Cuba and is one of the most popular smokes today. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

A box of Fidel Castro’s cigars sells for almost $27,000

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It was close but no cigar for anyone who bid less than $26,950 at auction for a signed box of Cuban cigars from Fidel Castro’s personal collection.

Boston-based RR Auction says Thursday that was the winning bid.

The wooden Trinidad Fundadores cigar box was signed in blue felt tip by the longtime Cuban leader. It is accompanied by a photograph of Castro signing it for philanthropist Dr. Eva Haller in 2002.

The box contains 24 cigars, is stamped on each end and has a maker’s mark on the bottom. It also includes a “Republica de Cuba” cigar warranty seal, which has been re-adhered.

Trinidad Fundadores were exclusively produced for Castro starting in 1980. Until 1998, the only boxes allowed to leave the island were gifts to foreign dignitaries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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