Can I travel to Cuba under a general license?
Posted: 04 October 2005 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have traveled to Cuba on previous occasions with a group of attorneys under the specific license.  Would love to go again, but I am hesitant to travel under the general license.  Again, this is a group of attorneys and a potential program of study has been put together that should comply with the requirements of a genearl license.  Potential participants are a bit uneasy about traveling under what appears to amount to a written policy compliance with which cannot be ascertained until and unless challenged.  Has anybody else traveled under the general license since the new restrictions?  Any difficulty encountered on your return?

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Posted: 04 October 2005 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If the license is not expired, you should be good to go. Call OFAC if you have any questions

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Posted: 04 October 2005 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I think that is part of the problem. There is no date on a general license. I don’t even think there is a piece of paper that says general license.

As far as I know, a general license just means go ahead and travel to Cuba and if we (OFAC) don’t think you have a good enough reason to travel to Cuba then we will fine you.

Is there such a thing as a document called a general license?

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Posted: 05 October 2005 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t see why someone can’t just travel to Cuba just to see how the country is or even want to travel there because they want to explore the cuban language or try the food. I mean what if a young american girl like myself wanted to travel to cuba just to learn the language and try the food? Couldn’t I do that? Please reply to me if possible at my e-mail address. It is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) I would very much appreciate it. Thank You.

Courtnei

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Posted: 05 October 2005 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The licenses I have seen are all for a given period time. Some are for six months with multiple trips allowed. All have a license number CT-????.Call the Office Of Foreign Assets Control at the Department of the Treasury at 202.622.2480.Sometimes it can take forever but when they finally answer they can helpful

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Posted: 05 October 2005 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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As a point of clarification, the specific licenses used for previous trips were for those trips only and have expired.  The general license is not a paper document but rather a written policy of OFAC.  One asserts it if challenged upon return from Cuba.  To the best of my knowledge, that is the only way to exercise it.  The obvious problem is a group of attorneys who do not wish to lose their license to practice law if they gamble that the program put together complies with OFAC requirements.  While we can determine that the proposed travel programs seems to comply OFAC is their own judge in these matters.  Ultimately, travelers under the “general license” are always gambling about the legality of their travel.  If anyone had had experience with traveling under this license, I would appreciate a description of your experience.  Thanks for your input!!! 

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Posted: 05 October 2005 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Ok no one answered my question. I just want a simple answer and not some long explanation about a “general license” because frankly I don’t care about a general license. I want to know if it is possible that a young american girl as myself can travel to cuba without a general license (whatever that is). I want to travel there because i want to explore the language more and try all the amazing food and just have the real experience instead of a stupid cuban restaurant. Please e-mail me with your responses. Thank you
~Courtnei~

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Posted: 05 October 2005 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Very simply put, you can be fined $7500 for just going to Cuba, regardless of the reason. It is pretty much illegal to travel to Cuba…from the US side, not the Cuban side.

Cuba will welcome you and stamp only your visa if you ask them to and not stamp your passport so when you return to the US, your passport will not say you have been in Cuba.

So, when you return from Cuba, US customs very well may ask you if you have been to Cuba. You then make the decision to lie or face the penalities.

Search for OFAC for more information. Good luck.

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Posted: 06 October 2005 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thank you for your response. That helps me alot. I was really hoping that I could travel there because I have always wanted to go to Cuba. What is a “general license” anyways?

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Posted: 11 July 2007 03:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I know this is an old post but do you have any updates or advice for us?

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Posted: 04 May 2011 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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We just launched our CubaTrips.org site about legal travel to Cuba with a host or with a license and we have a Can I travel to Cuba? page that might be helpful.

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