This is one of the better explanations of the origin of the Cuban Cohiba Cigar (Wikipedia):
Cohíba began with the cigars smoked by a bodyguard of Fidel Castro’s named Bienvenido “Chicho” Perez. Castro noticed he often smoked a “very aromatic, very nice” cigar. When asked by Castro what brand he smoked, he replied that it was rolled by a friend of his who would give him some of these special cigars as gifts.
The man in question was a cigar roller working at the La Corona factory in Havana named Eduardo Rivera. Castro approached Rivera about rolling cigars for him personally and set him up with five other rollers in a former diplomatic mansion in a suburb of Havana known as El Laguito (Spanish for “the little lake”). Later, the factory became the first cigar factory to be staffed entirely by women torcedoras (cigar rollers).
The cigars were reserved for Castro and other high-ranking Cuban officials, and were often presented to foreign dignitaries as gifts. Castro himself is said to be particularly fond of the long, thin cigars rolled for him, especially the sizes that would become the Lancero and Corona Especial.
Castro decided to release his personal cigars as a premium cigar brand for public consumption when the 1982 World Cup was held in Spain. When first launched in 1982 the Cohíba marque consisted of three vitolas or sizes: the Panetela, the Corona Especial, and the Lancero. In 1989 three more vitolas, the Robusto, the Exquisito, and the Espléndido, were added; the six are referred to as the Línea Clásica (classic line).