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Posted May 31, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Travel

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Continued from The Matanzas Connection article

Getting there: With the U.S. government’s recent move to eliminate licenses for “people to people” visits to Cuba, getting to Matanzas legally will soon be more difficult than ever. Your best bet is to travel before the end of the year with a licensed tour company, but that can mean sticking with the itinerary and little independent wandering.

Here are several avenues to pursue:

The first stop for information should be the Baltimore-Matanzas Sister City Association, whose motto is “People ... not Politics.” Members are planning to visit Matanzas in October, if a license can be secured, during the city’s celebration of its 310th anniversary, according to Frank Pratka, the group’s president.

The Baltimore-Matanzas group may be contacted at 410-366-8818

The Center For Cuban Studies in New York City offers two trips to Cuba that include stops in Matanzas. One trip focuses on general fact-finding and the other on the African roots of Cuban culture. To plan a trip exclusively to Matanzas through the center, the itinerary must be submitted to the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, according to travel specialist Marcos Meconi.

In any case, the Center’s license expires Nov. 30. Meconi urges would-be visitors to plan now because future

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