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Old 07-31-2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default To Cuba, or not to Cuba?

Alright, so I've pretty much decided that I want to hit Cuba on my current Central America trip. Current prices at the local travel agencies are about $350 RT, but I'm sure I can find a much, much better deal farther north in Honduras or Belize. Basically, I'm just wondering if any other US citizens have flown in illegally. I know how to do it and what not to do there but I'm just looking for other people that have done it. Also, any suggestions on where to go will help alot! I'm looking at going between Nov and Feb (a big space that I haven't filled yet).
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:13 PM   #2
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It's illegal to go into Cuba?

Damn, that just seems ridiculous. Aren't there famous people (I'm thinking musicians) going there all the time?
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
It's illegal to go into Cuba?
Kinda...from the State Department website...
Quote:
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS/TRAVEL TRANSACTION LIMITATIONS: The Cuban Assets Control Regulations are enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department and affect all U.S. citizens and permanent residents wherever they are located, all people and organizations physically in the United States, and all branches and subsidiaries of U.S. organizations throughout the world. The Regulations require that persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction be licensed to engage in any travel-related transactions related to travel to, from, and within Cuba. Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. U.S. law enforcement authorities have increased enforcement of these regulations at U.S. airports and pre-clearance facilities in third countries. Travelers who fail to comply with Department of Treasury regulations will face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States
So you can't just go based on wanting to see the country from a tourist point of view. You can read up on this, the licenses that are available, and other information at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/c.../cis_1097.html

I also know that Tony Wheeler visited Cuba for writing about it in Bad Lands. I haven't read the chapter yet (still working my way through Burma) but maybe after I do I can add some of his information.

Good luck and bring us back some cigars!
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
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try flying from Canada-I heard thats supposed to work.Also remember you cannot as far as I know get Cuban money from the States
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:03 PM   #5
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I know a guy that ventured into Cuba for a couple weeks on a trip. Basically he did the same as you, he left out of Belize to Cuba, didn't stamp the passport, came back. Basically I think it cost him about $20 to get by customs sans stamp. Hope you have a blast.


For the rest, it is illegal for us U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba. We are not allowed to take direct flights. We are not supposed to fly from elsewhere, although it can be done. Also if your entire trip is sponsored and paid for by someone out of country, then you can also get away with it. I.E. have a Canadian pay for the entire trip.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:34 PM   #6
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I hope you get to hit up Cuba, but Amber PLEASE be careful!

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Old 08-01-2007, 05:16 AM   #7
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Just a little tip if you end up going:

My boyfriend's brother (Argentinian) went there last year, and he got his dad to wire him Euros, cause they like saying that their currency is above the US dollar... so for your € you'll get a much better exchange rate.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:31 AM   #8
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^From what I have heard, most business prefer American dollars (or Cuban Convertible Pesos which are equal in value to Americand Dollars (the dictatorship skims off 10%)) but this may be changing with the Euro being so widespread among the countries providing the tourists.

If you can't get an official license, you need to make sure that the Cuban authorities do NOT stamp your passport. They are used to this procedure. If for some reason that happens, go to some other country and contact the US Embassy saying you lost it.

I'm sure Cuba will open up once Castro collapses and that it will be a central stop on cruises throughout the Carribbean

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:05 PM   #9
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If you have dual citizenship, does it matter? Like getting my Brazilian passport stamped, or something. Just out of curiosity. I don't plan on going to Cuba naytime soon.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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If you're a US citizen and the state department finds out you've been to cuba you're going to get into some trouble (I've heard the typical penalty is a $10,000 USD fine). I don't think dual citizenship would protect you, the US views you as a US citizen and nothing else.

Of course entering with a brazilian passport would make it easy to visit without the US government getting wind of it, so thats definitely a plus if you have one. I thought you said your family was from Portugal?
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Old 08-01-2007, 02:39 PM   #11
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^I'm betting the family extends to both countries (Brazil being a former Portugese colony and all)

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Old 08-01-2007, 02:54 PM   #12
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The US is a former british colony but I don't have any familiy in the UK....that would be pretty awesome to have family to visit on 3 continents!
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:56 PM   #13
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Two of my aunts on my dad's side moved to Portugal and got married there. King of like going back to the homeland.

Hmm... interesting... interesting... I think I may have a plan brewing for in a few years...
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:33 PM   #14
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I was able to visit Cuba directly from Miami, FL... However, both my parents are Cuban and I was born here in the states. This was some time ago some 8 years or so ago, but I believe that the reason we were able to fly direct is because of the dual nationality with Cuba. (Some sort of Family Visa I believe)

I found this off of the travel.state.gov site. Basically it was my circumstance...

Quote:
Specific Licenses to Visit Immediate Family Members in Cuba

OFAC will issue specific licenses authorizing travel-related transactions incident to one visit lasting no more than 14 days to immediate family members who are nationals of Cuba per three-year period. For those who emigrated to the United States from Cuba, and have not since that time visited a family member in Cuba, the three-year period will be counted from the date they left Cuba. For all others, the three-year period will be counted from the date they last left Cuba pursuant to the pre-existing family visit general license, or from the date their family visit specific license was issued. Travelers wishing to visit an immediate family member in Cuba who is authorized to be in Cuba, but is not a national of Cuba, may be granted a specific license in exigent circumstances provided that the U.S. Interests Section in Havana concurs in the issuance of such a license.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BedtimeontheMoon
However, both my parents are Cuban and I was born here in the states. This was some time ago some 8 years or so ago
You've got very good grammar and spelling for an 8 year old.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:01 AM   #16
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lol i meant we "visited" Cuba some 8 years ago. My parents have been here over 30 years now...
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:24 AM   #17
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One thing I have heard, but it may be a myth, is that airlines flying from Canada to Cuba have an arrangement with the U.S. State Dept to report U.S. citizens flying to Cuba from Canada. Mexico and the rest of the latin America countries do not have this agreement and so it is betterto fly from somewhere south of the U.S. versus Canada. Definately go, bring plenty of dollars and don't get your passport stamped!!
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