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Old 19-09-2012, 19:45   #1
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Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

What will I need to know if we decide to hop across and visit Cuba... other than US Currency not being allowed to be spent there under US law?

Among other things, I have a laptop based GPS Nav system. What are restrictions for US Private vessels?
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Old 19-09-2012, 20:19   #2
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How much do you want to keep your boat?
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Old 19-09-2012, 20:19   #3
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

Tom -
This has been discussed ad infinitum on this and other forums. I suggest you spend some time using the search function and the Google search function.
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Old 19-09-2012, 20:56   #4
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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.
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:14   #5
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I would suggest you contact the State Dept. Should be info on their web site.
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:31   #6
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

Hi Tom,

Here are links to some of the threads on Cruisers Forum in the last 10-12 months about cruising Cuba. I think all your questions about legality, potential penalties, why, why not, etc are covered in these threads in great detail.

Bottom line, the US government does not want you to go. Lots of arguments about loopholes and nobody really cares and you won't get caught and it's technically ok if you do this or don't do that and it's not actually illegal. For me I don't want to risk confiscation of my boat and potentially large fines. Probably wouldn't happen but if it did, well.....


Cuba - Warning non-American Boats

Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Travel to Cuba?

Cuba for Americans ?

Cuba for American Boats ?

Cuba ?
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:33   #7
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

It's not off limits. You asked a question and got responses...

I'm guessing the responses disspointed.

We would like to visit Cuba one day also, Himself had family there when Castro took over and they escaped.

But we understand there is a risk. You don't just 'pop over'...
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:36   #8
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

Quote:
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.
Please understand the impatience with your question. Sorry you can't get a good connection to research it where you're located but as you can see from my previous post the subject has been really beat to death, more than once.

I don't think there is anything to say that hasn't been said and resaid, debated and argued. Perhaps Cuba should go on the list of subjects that go round and round and never reach a resolution, like anchors and guns and Hunters.
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Old 20-09-2012, 07:27   #9
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

I would add one, perhaps new for some, issue to the Cuba discussions...

Tampa paper this weekend talked about how more and more unmanned drones are being used by Homeland Security, Coast Guard, DEA, and others to monitor the waters around Florida--particularly between us and the Bahamas, and us and Cuba. As I read the article, it made me think that those who have been visiting Cuba on the QT in the past might find the probability of getting caught is going up.
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Old 20-09-2012, 08:42   #10
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

My main question really, for best clarity, is on what I'll need to know if I should have to duck into a Cuban port as a harbor of refuge if the weather really goes south in me. I won't be able to preclear under those circumstances, or get an advance visa. I ahve the question in to the State Department and I'll also happily share their answer, when I eventually get it.
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Old 20-09-2012, 08:55   #11
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

There are exceptions for church groups. I've often wondered how it would go if you became a Reverend of the Church of Life or one of those online outfits. . . . Then you could sail port to port in Cuba spreading the good news. . . .
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Old 20-09-2012, 08:56   #12
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
My main question really, for best clarity, is on what I'll need to know if I should have to duck into a Cuban port as a harbor of refuge if the weather really goes south in me. I won't be able to preclear under those circumstances, or get an advance visa. I ahve the question in to the State Department and I'll also happily share their answer, when I eventually get it.
Very different question from your original post which specifically referred to an intentional, planned visit.

Short answer is, in a genuine emergency you can do what you have to do to protect life and property and you will not be penalized, at least by the US. Local laws and politics will however, dictate what sort of reception you receive in the destination country.

Many years ago when the cold war was much warmer I knew a guy that lost his mast and motored into the US base at Guantanamo. Very, very off limits but he was welcomed (after the MPs got over their initial shock at a boat showing up at their docks unannounced and undetected) and given a free trip to FL on a military transport and a free trip back with a new mast.
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Old 20-09-2012, 08:59   #13
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
There are exceptions for church groups. I've often wondered how it would go if you became a Reverend of the Church of Life or one of those online outfits. . . . Then you could sail port to port in Cuba spreading the good news. . . .
If you want to join the Pastafarians you can get ordained here with no problem.

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Old 20-09-2012, 09:08   #14
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Originally Posted by skipmac

If you want to join the Pastafarians you can get ordained here with no problem.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
If you do this, please invite me along to research the Cuban response.
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Old 20-09-2012, 10:00   #15
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Re: Cuba for a small US Flagged S/V?

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If you want to join the Pastafarians you can get ordained here with no problem.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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.
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