I was in Cuba at Christmas. The security chief, who worked at the hotel for many years, was selling the exact same cigars as the ones in question. They were fakes. If you didn't buy them from an official store, and pay the ridiculous prices, sorry, they are fakes. Simple as that. Hotel employees simply do not have connections to boxes of real cigars out the back door, anymore than the National Guard at Fort Knox would have access to newly printed greenbacks fresh off the press.