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Old 29-01-2015, 08:33   #1
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Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

It sounds simple, but the more I read the more I get confused. The rules have all been relaxed for exceptions (ie: cultural exchange) on travel to Cuba. Do you just go with an exception as your cause, or do you still get a license if you want to travel legally.

Also, From the Cuban standpoint, if I take my boat, do I just show up, or do I need to apply for a Visa?
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Old 29-01-2015, 12:26   #2
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

You do not have to get a license ahead of time, like you used to. You are still supposed to fill out all of the documentation to apply for a license, and keep it, in case they want to see it later.

In other words, it's probably not likely, but... Three years from now they could come back to you and ask to see your documentation. If it's not up to snuff, will they say your visit was illegal, and fine you? No one really knows.

Frankly, I think the current state of things is, in many ways, worse than it was. This is because Obama is moving ahead with opening up things as much as he can, but Congress is not yet on-board. So, basically, all the laws are still the same, but Obama has decided that he is going to enforce them differently. As a result, just exactly what might--or might not--get you into trouble now, next year, or five years from now is completely up in the air.

Personally, I'm waiting until Congress actually changes the laws.
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Old 29-01-2015, 17:57   #3
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Personally, I'm waiting until Congress actually changes the laws.
Much like the founding fathers intended
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Old 29-01-2015, 18:13   #4
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Much like the founding fathers intended
Yeah, and they probably envisioned Congressmen with enough sense of civic duty to be able to reach compromises and actually accomplish something.
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Old 29-01-2015, 18:39   #5
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

If the Founding Fathers were of the opinion that the freedom of Americans to travel as they wish should be under the control of the government, then screw the Founding Fathers and the horses they rode in on.

The USA was not founded so that government could more effectively control it's citizens.
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Old 29-01-2015, 18:48   #6
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

OK guys…….
As politically charged as this topic is, throwing stones at the politics involved accomplishes nothing. Please stick to the facts and skip the rhetoric……. from either the left or right
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Old 29-01-2015, 19:10   #7
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

I've been trying to figure this out myself. To the best of my ability to interpret what I read from the Treasury and other government website I think this is what current rules are supposed to be.

Technically one still must adhere to the existing restrictions on travel to Cuba IE travel is only allowed for cultural, educational, journalism, research, etc, etc, etc. reasons. However one will no longer have to apply for a permit in advance (a permit that in practice was almost never granted unless you are anchorperson for CBS or doing research at Harvard on tropical diseases). Instead, fill in the forms with a reason that is appropriate under the restrictions and go.

The latest official information I have found posted is here.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...a_faqs_new.pdf
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Old 29-01-2015, 19:29   #8
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
I've been trying to figure this out myself. To the best of my ability to interpret what I read from the Treasury and other government website I think this is what current rules are supposed to be.

Technically one still must adhere to the existing restrictions on travel to Cuba IE travel is only allowed for cultural, educational, journalism, research, etc, etc, etc. reasons. However one will no longer have to apply for a permit in advance (a permit that in practice was almost never granted unless you are anchorperson for CBS or doing research at Harvard on tropical diseases). Instead, fill in the forms with a reason that is appropriate under the restrictions and go.

The latest official information I have found posted is here.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...a_faqs_new.pdf
Thanks Skipmac. Good information, and everyone who reads it can as assess for themselves if they fit in one of those 12 categories. The quick down and dirty appears to be one no longer has to apply for a license to travel there, just ensure that the purpose fits.

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Old 29-01-2015, 19:41   #9
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

Not that I know anything about it, but having read stories of the variable nature of Cuba's enforcement, isn't how the Cubans feel about Americans visiting also a big factor in this?
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Old 29-01-2015, 19:52   #10
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Not that I know anything about it, but having read stories of the variable nature of Cuba's enforcement, isn't how the Cubans feel about Americans visiting also a big factor in this?
Potentially you're correct, but many of my Canadian friends and neighbors go there regularly, and are able to move around inside of Cuba fairly easily. Your potential concern has never been brought up by them, whereas they always talk about what wonderful people Cubans are.

Most are multiple visitors to Cuba, preferring it to many of the other more developed resorts in the Caribbean.

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Old 29-01-2015, 19:56   #11
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Potentially you're correct, but many of my Canadian friends and neighbors go there regularly, and are able to move around inside of Cuba fairly easily. Your potential concern has never been brought up by them, whereas they always talk about what wonderful people Cubans are.
Ah, but Canada didn't spend 50 years pissing off the government. While hope that it will all be water under the bridge, the potential for the Cuban authorities to take their frustrations out on American visitors seems high.

I've always heard its a great place too, but there was a video I watched about a fellow who was stuck on a sandbar there for weeks and the authorities wouldn't let him hire anyone to get him off.

Found it:
http://youtu.be/-WHax1R_bAw
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Old 29-01-2015, 20:04   #12
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

Many Americans have been going to Cuba for years (yup gasp illegally). The Cubans have no problem with the Americans.. The Germans on the other hand, they are not so fond of you Americans (and cuba has a ton of Germans).
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Old 29-01-2015, 20:07   #13
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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Many Americans have been going to Cuba for years (yup gasp illegally). The Cubans have no problem with the Americans.. The Germans on the other hand, they are not so fond of you Americans (and cuba has a ton of Germans).
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Old 29-01-2015, 20:09   #14
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

Anyone that is fluent in government speak can go to the full text of the 31 CFR part 515 CACR. Translation Code of Federal Regulations, Cuban Assets Control Regulations.

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...cfr515_new.pdf

Sorry but that's about as far as I can go trying to turn this document into English without spending 4-5 hours of hair tearing and teeth gnashing.
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Old 29-01-2015, 20:11   #15
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Re: Cuba - simple question. Is a license required now or not?

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The Germans on the other hand, they are not so fond of you Americans (and cuba has a ton of Germans).
Assume this was meant as humor but just to make a point that is the exact opposite of my experience with Germans whether in Germany or abroad, including the Caribbean.
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