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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Culture

Travel Laws To Cuba

Posted March 16, 2005 by YoungCuban in Cuba Culture.
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Answers Needed

There has been much confusion concerning travel laws to Cuba.

I have read that in fact it isn’t against U.S. laws to travel to Cuba, but to spend money in Cuba is.

Is this correct, can we / I travel to Cuba if we do not spend money in Cuba?

If this is the case I take it I am allowed to go to Cuba freely as long as I do not take any funds to Cuba and spend it in Cuba?

Because if it is, I am going to Cuba tomorrow!

Member Comments

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On March 16, 2005, Mako wrote:

There used to be a concept called “a fully hosted trip” in which it was legal to travel to Cuba as long as you could document that your trip was paid in full by a host in Cuba. Last year the Bush Administration outlawed fully hosted trips. 

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On March 16, 2005, YoungCuban wrote:

Thank you Mako,I know about fully hosted trips,but it still sells one can go freely as long as one doesnt spend funds in Cuba,does it not?

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On March 16, 2005, Mako wrote:

Unfortunately, OFAC is prosecuting people who travel to Cuba w/o a License. Under the new laws even Cuban-Americans can only go visit certain strictly defined family members once every 3 years. Consult the US Treasury Dept website for all the new rules

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On March 16, 2005, YoungCuban wrote:

Still does not answer the question,which is the reasoning behind my post,not even OFAC can answer me clearly when I speak to them.

I have told them to wait for me at an airport so they can see that I have no intention on taking a single red cent with me to Cuba, and of course to no avail they simply cannot or will not answer my simple question.

If I dont take any funds to Cuba,can I travel to Cuba?

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On March 17, 2005, Mako wrote:

You are subject to arrest

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On March 18, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

You’re getting ornery YoungCuban wink

The travel ban was fought in the courts and was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court many years ago. The current restrictions are tied to the “trading with the enemy” laws.

Obviously, it’ impossible to go to Cuba without Castro getting some amount of Yuma dollars out of you. Remember, the tourist card is $10 and the departure tax is $25. That’ $35 straight to the Cuban govt. (i.e., Fidel) right there.

As a foreigner in Cuba, you are legally required to stay ONLY at government-authorized places. Crashing at your friend’ house is ILLEGAL and is putting you, your buddy, and his family in DANGER.

You could stay at a govt.-owned hotel. Take the Sol Melia Cohiba. It says Sol Melia at the front but it neglects to add “brought to you by Fidel & Co.” grin Sol M. is a Spanish firm but by Cuban law, they cannot have more than a 49% share of any Cuban property. That means the Cuban govt. gets at least 51% of the revenue.

If you stayed at a casa particular, same thing. It used to be awesome for casa owners but they are heavily taxed now, at least $250 a month in Havana. So some of your money eventually goes back to. . . Fidel.

If you are Cuban-American and want to stay with family, congratulations! You are in a very “special” subgroup of Yumas. grin The regulations have recently become even MORE twisted and bizarre.

The “fully hosted trip” was a loophole that was closed about a year ago.

I wouldn’t worry about getting arrested like Mako suggested.

If there’ anyone out there who’ interested in learning about unlicensed travel and how it’ done just let me know. I have no problems sharing my accumulated wisdom with you.  grin

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On March 18, 2005, YoungCuban wrote:

Would be staying with family.

I’d love to learn your wisdom!

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On March 18, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

YoungCuban, is there a way we can contact each other via email? Let me know when you can. . .

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On March 18, 2005, YoungCuban wrote:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) is where you may contact me at.

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On March 22, 2005, Summerwood wrote:

I am finding this whole argument, about which nation is the most restrictive, to be a bit tedious - is the Cuban government being harsh because it is trying to collect tax money from people visiting the island nation (as all other nations do to tourists) or is the American government being harsh because it is trying to maintain an ineffective embargo which is creating stress for average Cubans in both the United States and in Cuba? 

Last week Canada and Cuba celebrated 60 years of unbroken diplomatic relations, and Cuban-Canadians as well as other Canadian nationals, freely travel between the two countries.  Maybe it is time for the United States government to revisit the “Trading With the Enemy” concept, as it is helping neither the American nor the Cuban people.

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On March 22, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

Well, the Cuban govt. is even more restrictive on its OWN citizens. Going on a touristic vacation to Canada or Europe is practically unheard of. My ex-girlfriend speaks French quite well and has a decent collection of books about France but her chances of ever travelling there are practically nil. Even if you had the Yuma dollars and were an upstanding Party member, or were being “hosted”, it can take years for a Cubano to get a visa.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that once they get out, especially those under 40, they tend to not want to come back. . .?  grin

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On April 21, 2005, gracia wrote:

“If there’ anyone out there who’ interested in learning about unlicensed travel and how it’ done just let me know. I have no problems sharing my accumulated wisdom with you. grin

D.Robledo, if that offer still stands, I would like to take you up on it.  How do I get in contact with you?

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On April 21, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

Why don’t you contact me at droble77 “at” netscape “dot” net.

Convert what’ in the quotes to the standard email punctuation/format. (I write it like this to prevent spambots from getting my email address) grin