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Old 20-09-2012, 10:23   #16
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
If you do this, please invite me along to research the Cuban response.
I think the response might be interesting.
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Old 20-09-2012, 10:33   #17
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

I pm'd you, because no one is going to say on a public forum "Yeah, I'm american and I went!" All you will get is people who are fearful of trying. Americans do it all the time.

Don't talk to the state department, just go there and don't talk about it. ANd it is a stop between destinations (like US to Cuba to Mexico).
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Old 20-09-2012, 10:36   #18
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I'm thinking the State Dept won't go for that one, but hey, why not give it a try? I'll be happy to sign on as crew if you get the permit.
Yes a permit under this group probably a long shot.

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I would wait until after the US Prez election is over and then decide whether you want risk it.
Agree, especially since FL senator from S FL Mario Rubio is stirring up trouble, I'm sure just for the political benefits but then maybe I'm just a cynic when it comes to politics. I had a friend cruise Cuba for several months during Clinton and heard a lot of people were doing it with no repercussions. Right now I think the risk factors are a bit higher. Once elections are over the the politicians are done pandering for a couple of years it might be different.


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Also, read up on the convenient little war we started following the explosion aboard the Battelship Maine while anchored in Havana.
Yes that was an interesting historical event. Blamed the Spanish for blowing up the ship so we could start a convenient war. Even when it happened there was a lot of evidence the explosion was accidental. Then a few years ago some researchers dove the wreck and came back with pretty conclusive proof that it was not sabotage. I forget for certain but think it was blamed on explosive dust from coal in the ship's bunkers.
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Old 20-09-2012, 11:09   #19
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

If you have a emergency situation, be sure to contact the USCG, with your emergency and you will recieve permission to make port to make repairs! Also if you must make port because of weather, do the same ! serveral yrs ago we lost a main thru hull, do to it's age. We had to plug the hole and could not use the Main engine.We called the Coast Garde and recieved permission to land to make repairs ! had no problems afterward. But then we came stright to our home port in Louisiana, and cked in at our normal homeland office and had the bahamas as our last port of call. Just a thought !
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Old 20-09-2012, 13:17   #20
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Yes that was an interesting historical event. Blamed the Spanish for blowing up the ship so we could start a convenient war. Even when it happened there was a lot of evidence the explosion was accidental. Then a few years ago some researchers dove the wreck and came back with pretty conclusive proof that it was not sabotage. I forget for certain but think it was blamed on explosive dust from coal in the ship's bunkers.
Yes, saw a documentary about the research on the Maine and it was attributed to a coal bunker explosion. Probably coaled up in the Dry Tortugas where the US maintained a coaling station. Today, ironically, there are many impounded make-shift Cuban vessels behind Ft. Jefferson -- there really ought to be a museum for these.

Interesting museum in Havana, which includes armament from the revolution, bits of the U2 spy plane that was shot down, and the "Granma" herself, the old tub which Fidel used to "invade" Cuba, in a big glassed-in display case.

On-line edition of national publication "Granma" makes interesting reading too (available in several languages including English). See Granma International, English Edition.

All good sources of research...while waiting for permit to be granted.
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Old 20-09-2012, 13:49   #21
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

The situation is clear! George W in his wisdom issued a long dictate, citing how bad the Cubans were, and that "any vessel susceptible of entering Cuban waters" anywhere, may be arrested by any US naval or Coastguard vessel and be required to accompany them to a US port.
I wrote a letter to Cruising World back in 2004 which they published regarding my encounter with the USCG on delivering my recently purchased Sabre 38 from Florida to Cayman, we were UK flagged and manned, not heading for Cuba, but were questioned at length on our destination. As I wrote at the time, we were an international vessel in International waters and not committing any offense against anyone, they still had the power vested in them by George W to stop us! They didnt do so, but be aware that you venture there at your peril, regardless of right or wrong.
In fact on other occasions I have cruised Cuban waters, but not en route to or out of US, and for the record, it is a lovely country with lovely people, shame about their political system!
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Old 20-09-2012, 14:54   #22
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This is pretty off topic, but everyone who got their info from the intelligence community pretty much knew it was an accident at the time. Hearst made a big deal of it to drum up public support for a war that was already brewing, but the President was trying to avoid.

Doesn't anyone watch Citizen Kane anymore?
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Old 20-09-2012, 15:27   #23
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

Yes, the laws are in place so that the US government can make things very difficult (for all us vessels AND foreign vessels in US waters that are deemed to be 'susceptible of being used, for voyage into Cuban territorial waters'). The practical question is what is the risk of them actually doing so? The answer is lower than in W's time but still not zero.

Section 1. The Secretary may make rules and regulations
governing the anchorage and movement of any vessel, foreign or
domestic, in the territorial waters of the United States, which
may be used, or is susceptible of being used, for voyage into
Cuban territorial waters and that may create unsafe conditions,
or result in unauthorized transactions, and thereby threaten a
disturbance of international relations. Any rule or regulation
issued pursuant to this proclamation may be effective
immediately upon issuance as such rule or regulation shall
involve a foreign affairs function of the United States.
Sec. 2. The Secretary is authorized to inspect any vessel,
foreign or domestic, in the territorial waters of the United
States, at any time; to place guards on any such vessel; and,
with my consent expressly hereby granted, take full possession
and control of any such vessel and remove the officers and crew
and all other persons not specifically authorized by the
Secretary to go or remain on board the vessel when necessary to
secure the rights and obligations of the United States
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Old 30-09-2012, 12:17   #24
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

There are licensed trips for church groups, agriculture, education, etc through OFAC. I was there in Feb and returning in Jan - farming is my business.

These trips are routed through the state tourism companies, Havantur, etc, with rules that prevent US companies from doing tours under another guise. OFAC has recently tightened up the "people to people" licenses. None of these allow for arriving on your own boat though. The difficulty in anchoring freely there is a problem, but they do seem to be very on top of reef health and fisheries management.

I visited marina Hemingway while there for a couple weeks, and chatted with the mate of the yacht "Pink Gin", who was holed up for weather, worried about getting over the bar with their deep draft.



Check out Global Exchange or Witness for Peace if you want to travel there legally, and of course Cuban-Americans can now travel on people to people licenses to visit family in Cuba. Might be an option for you and "himself" Serafina.
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Old 01-10-2012, 18:09   #25
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

There are more ways than that to travel to Cuba legally. Several tour companies offer trips now including National Geographic.

Travel to Cuba: Cultural Program | National Geographic Expeditions
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Old 01-10-2012, 22:38   #26
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by bgriffin View Post
There are more ways than that to travel to Cuba legally. Several tour companies offer trips now including National Geographic.

Travel to Cuba: Cultural Program | National Geographic Expeditions
Sure but did you look at the cost for this trip? $5,795 per person, double occupancy, airfare not included. For a couple including airfare from Miami you're talking about $12,600 for 9 days in Cuba.

So if you're rich you can legally exploit a loophole and visit Cuba. If you aren't then you can go and have the risk of fines and persecution [sic] by the government hanging over your head.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:27   #27
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

I apologize, my point was not that it was economical, just that the statement that said US companies couldn't offer tours other than for the reasons stated was incorrect.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:27   #28
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I'm thinking the State Dept won't go for that one, but hey, why not give it a try? I'll be happy to sign on as crew if you get the permit.

I would wait until after the US Prez election is over and then decide whether you want risk it. During Clinton's administration things were much more lax and there were many US flagged boats visiting Cuba. During emperor Duh-W's reign, Marina Hemingway became a ghost town. Be interesting to see what, if any, changes the next term brings.

Suggested related reading: I'm currently reading "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life" by Jon Anderson. This book is in fact much broader than just a biography of "Che", it's scope includes a lot of detail about the Cuban revolution and later resulting conflicts. Lot's of good background for understanding Cuba and more fully appreciating your visit if you choose to go. Also, read up on the convenient little war we started following the explosion aboard the Battelship Maine while anchored in Havana.
good read...also see The Motorcycle Diaryies(not about Cuba)...
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:28   #29
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Well, never mind, then. I guess the topic is off limits, so if the mods want, please close the thread. I did search, but I was on my Android and didn't get anything more current than a couple years ago, and it can be a pain to search with the phone out here in the sticks wit6h the 1G connectivity I get on the fringes.
No, it's not off limits. It's simply been discussed many many times.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:40   #30
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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There are more ways than that to travel to Cuba legally. Several tour companies offer trips now including National Geographic.

Travel to Cuba: Cultural Program | National Geographic Expeditions
bgriffin, it is all in the fine print:

Please Note: This trip is permitted by a special People-to-People license from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. This itinerary was designed to provide an immersive experience with numerous opportunities for meaningful interaction with Cubans. Travel restrictions in Cuba, such as limits on how much one may spend and what may be purchased, will be provided in your pre-departure materials.

-and-

These departures will operate subject to renewal of our People-to-People license by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Pending renewal of our license, waitlisted travelers with preliminary reservations will be contacted and confirmed.

Many people to people licenses are not being renewed right now, because operators are exploiting loopholes. Traveling as a tourist is not allowed by OFAC, US policies have not changed there - sorry. The lines can get blurry there, so you're right that there are opportunities to visit Cuba, such as the two other organizations I listed.
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