Cuban bests record cigar roll

— A Cuban cigar maker has shattered his own record for the world's longest cigar by rolling a 45-foot-long stogie, the Guinness Book of World Records said.

It took Jose Castelar Cairo five days to manufacture the cigar -- a feat that far surpassed his 35-foot cigar that set the record in 2000.

The latest and greatest cigar was rolled in November, but only recently certified by Guinness. Castelar proudly displayed both Guinness certificates Thursday.

Castelar's first milestone was a 9-foot cigar he and his buddies rolled in 1999 as a way to attract passing tourists.

"We never thought the cigars we were making would be for Guinness," said Castelar, who has been weaving together Cuban tobacco leaves for 43 years.

Castelar is a cigar maker for La Triada, a shop in a historic colonial fort that once protected Havana from enemy invasions and pirate attacks.

His recognition by Guinness was announced on the same day that officials shut down an illegal cigar factory -- one of 100 dismantled since the beginning of the year for trying to pass off mediocre smokes as authentic Cuban brand-name cigars.

photo

AP File Photo

Jose Castelar Cairo has achieved a Guinness World Record for hand-rolling the world's largest cigar, which measured 45 feet. He's shown here rolling the cigar Nov. 1 in a room of the Melia Cohiba Hotel, in Havana, Cuba.

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