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Old 04-11-2014, 10:03   #1
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Cuba Revisited

I just hauled out for a bottom job and while speaking to manager of the yard learned the following. He is a well respected gulf coast sailor, captain etc. and advised me that restrictions on visiting Cuba have just been relaxed, allowing US yachts to visit and have changed the rules on spending limits. In addition he also said that the ST. PETE to Havana race is back on.

Has anyone else heard anything relating to this. Hope it is true. Maybe I am the last to know.
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Old 04-11-2014, 14:08   #2
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Re: Cuba Revisited

Relaxed? A little bit. That doesn't mean that any of us would be allowed to go... Unless maybe your grandmother still lives there. And, no, the St. Pete to Havana race is NOT "back on." They tried hard to get one scheduled, got turned down.

Check google for recent news stories about changes... Nope. None. Check the State Department website for anything different... Nope. Nothing. So your well respected captain, I'm afraid, is completely wrong. Not surprising, really. It's amazing how much misinformation is out there about U.S. citizens visiting Cuba.

Maybe next year. (But don't hold your breath.)
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Old 04-11-2014, 18:04   #3
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Re: Cuba Revisited

Please excuse me for my gross ignorance on the topic. I did not say it was true, only that it would be welcome news to most of us, as it was offered in a positive fashion from a person I respect. There are always those who seem to dwell on the negative. I am well aware of all of the information on the official government sites. Are they all updated daily?
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Old 04-11-2014, 19:02   #4
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Re: Cuba Revisited

I read an article in the local paper (and we all know that the newspaper is an extremely reliable source of information) that the administration was considering easing travel restrictions to Cuba but when I read the details it was nothing substantial at all.

Maybe in the next year or so.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:29   #5
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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Originally Posted by LEOCAT66 View Post
Please excuse me for my gross ignorance on the topic.
No need to excuse yourself, and I'm sorry if I came across as if I was criticizing you. I certainly didn't intend it that way. It's just that this is a subject that comes up over and over and over, and about 80% of the posts contain some fundamentally wrong information. I just get tired of all of the people who speak out on this when they haven't got a clue what they're talking about.

My frustration was not with you, but with the captain who told you this. I mean, it was two years ago that the Sarasota Yacht Club gave up on their attempts to arrange a regatta to Havana, and yet he is telling you that it is back on? Why do people feel like they have to spout off on this sort of thing when they are completely ignorant of the facts!?!

If any meaningful change in the law happens, you won't have to ask about it on a forum like this. It will be headline news. It will be easily found with a quick google search. And, yes, it will be posted to the State Department website within days at most, if not hours.

I keep hoping that it will happen within my lifetime, but as I intimated above, I'm not holding my breath. Again, though, I'm sorry if it sounded like I was attacking you. I was not.
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Old 05-11-2014, 06:45   #6
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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.................. If any meaningful change in the law happens, you won't have to ask about it on a forum like this. It will be headline news. It will be easily found with a quick google search. And, yes, it will be posted to the State Department website within days at most, if not hours............
Yes. I often wonder why people ask things on a forum when it is easy and more reliable to just do a web search themselves.
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:00   #7
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Re: Cuba Revisited

we go to cuba often, and meet a lot of americans there. Its not that cuba restricts their travel the US gov does not allow its citizens to spend money in the country. many American tourists come up to Canada and fly down from here on a vacation charter. Cuba does not stamp passports and it is a great place to go
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:06   #8
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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we go to cuba often, and meet a lot of americans there. Its not that cuba restricts their travel the US gov does not allow its citizens to spend money in the country. many American tourists come up to Canada and fly down from here on a vacation charter. Cuba does not stamp passports and it is a great place to go
I thought about going to Cuba but there are just too many foreigners there!
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:09   #9
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Re: Cuba Revisited

A lot of church and synagogue groups are going, making use of the religious exemptions offered a few years ago. There must be some way to combine one of those with sailing. . . .
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Old 17-11-2014, 16:19   #10
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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Yes. I often wonder why people ask things on a forum when it is easy and more reliable to just do a web search themselves.
Maybe because for example, the often used anchorages along the north coast of Cuba are not mentioned much. They show up on some charts but it's also word of mouth. The locals know all about it and so do the sailors who have been there. I don't know if you can find much about them on the internet. It's common knowledge in places like Isla Mujeres.
The Cubans don't care as long as you don't go to shore.
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Old 18-11-2014, 02:57   #11
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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we go to cuba often, and meet a lot of americans there. Its not that cuba restricts their travel the US gov does not allow its citizens to spend money in the country. many American tourists come up to Canada and fly down from here on a vacation charter. Cuba does not stamp passports and it is a great place to go

Don't use your credit card or cell phone either, otherwise big brother computers can flag it. But really, has anyone ever been punished for going to Cuba?
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Old 18-11-2014, 05:29   #12
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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Maybe because for example, the often used anchorages along the north coast of Cuba are not mentioned much. They show up on some charts but it's also word of mouth. The locals know all about it and so do the sailors who have been there. I don't know if you can find much about them on the internet. It's common knowledge in places like Isla Mujeres.
The Cubans don't care as long as you don't go to shore.
You didn't understand the question. The OP asked if US restrictions on visiting Cuba had been lifted. This would not be a secret only known by some boaters, it would be public information and big news on the Internet.
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Old 18-11-2014, 05:58   #13
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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the US gov does not allow its citizens to spend money in the country.
No, this is wrong. It is not just about spending money. It is illegal for a U.S. citizen to go to Cuba without the permission of the State Department. Whether or not you spend money is completely irrelevant. That used to be the case, but it was changed a very long time ago.

Once again, this is just completely wrong, despite the fact that it keeps getting repeated over and over.
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Old 18-11-2014, 05:59   #14
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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Don't use your credit card or cell phone either, otherwise big brother computers can flag it. But really, has anyone ever been punished for going to Cuba?
Yes. A couple who used to organize a regatta to Cuba had their lives turned upside down for plotical gain. George W had them made into an example by pursuing Federal charges against them to help make his Cuban Amrican donors happy. Case dismissed immediately after election. Politicians are like junkies, anything to keep the power fix coming (regardless of their party).

Tourists have been fined for visiting. I've heard about fines in the $7,500 - 10,000 range. Max is $250K for more overt violations.

Know of one boat that was impounded due to being stupid enough to show up in KW with a cargo of Cuban cirgars.
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Old 18-11-2014, 06:38   #15
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Re: Cuba Revisited

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Don't use your credit card or cell phone either, otherwise big brother computers can flag it. But really, has anyone ever been punished for going to Cuba?
Have wondered the same so asked mr google and turned up an article about a US citizen that was fined. One interesting quote. Seems like very few were officially fined but many pay up when they are notified that an official action is pending.



" To my knowledge, only two people have actually been fined for illegal travel to Cuba," says Baker, who addresses the issue on his blog. "Thousands of others have paid up when they received a 'notification of intent to levy a fine,' which is a preliminary stage that can be challenged. Most importantly, no judges are in place to adjudicate any challenge, the sole exception being a brief tenure during the second Bush administration."
"Only a tiny fraction of the many thousands of U.S. citizens who continue to visit Cuba annually without a license are ever identified as such by OFAC," Baker adds. "Under the Obama administration, OFAC has refocused to more urgent priorities and during my 13 visits to Cuba within the past year, only a very small percentage of visitors returning from Cuba are being asked to demonstrate proof of legal travel."
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