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Old 14-04-2014, 12:26   #1
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Cuba ???

Is Cuba still off limits to us sailing craft ?
I was thinking that it would be an incredible place to visit but was not aware if the sancations had been lifited
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Old 14-04-2014, 15:01   #2
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Re: Cuba ???

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Originally Posted by rancher44 View Post
Is Cuba still off limits to us sailing craft ?
I was thinking that it would be an incredible place to visit but was not aware if the sancations had been lifited

Stay away Yankees , only we non Yankees allowed in paradise

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Old 14-04-2014, 15:21   #3
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Re: Cuba ???

Jay-Z went.
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Old 14-04-2014, 15:24   #4
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Re: Cuba ???

It has become much easier to go to Cuba, even legally. However, I would be durn sure I had all my ducks in a row before trying to come from Cuba in my precious sailboat. This is not an area where I would risk "better to ask forgiveness than permission," as the fines and confiscation of boats are still on the books.
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Old 14-04-2014, 18:31   #5
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Re: Cuba ???

You would need special US State Department clearance and a Visa from Cuba to visit legally. Not sure I'd want to try and skirt the edges, but I'm sure some have done it.

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Old 14-04-2014, 19:12   #6
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Re: Cuba ???

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Originally Posted by Kevin84 View Post
----
Not sure I'd want to try and skirt the edges, but I'm sure some have done it.
----
Ya think? LOL.
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Old 19-04-2014, 19:20   #7
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Re: Cuba ???

It is welcoming to all, Not an experience to be missed. But you cannot go home from there if you are American. Don't ask me how I know this, some things are better left unsaid on the internet!
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Old 16-05-2014, 10:40   #8
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Re: Cuba ???

I have heard that going to Cuba for US citizens is legit if you arrive and depart after going to another country.

I just returned from a trip in the Northern Bahamas.

I have been planning to make my next trip to sail the southern Bahamas and end my trip in the Turk and Cacos. I believe there is a marina I could leave my boat in for a few months.

On the next trip I would like to circumnavigate Cuba with a possible stop over in the Caymans where I have been before. I would end in the Turks and Cacos again with future plans to sail down the eastern Caribbean.

Do this make solve the issue for US citizens?

Thanks
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:08   #9
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Re: Cuba ???

US citizens can't go directly unless with a special permit.
From what we've heard, it is not advisable even for non US boats to go directly from Cuba to the US.
In any case it's better to pass through the Bahamas/Caymans before entering the US.
We've just been there and were very disappointed.
Maybe our hopes were too high but definitely not a paradise or great place for cruisers. We did the south coast only and traveled to Havana by car.
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:23   #10
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Re: Cuba ???

It is not legal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba without State Department permission, and how many other countries you might visit before or after has absolutely no bearing on it. The only thing that visiting other countries does is make it harder for the authorities to catch you. That's all. Doesn't change the legality of it.

That said, lots of people visit, very few get caught. So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you feelin' lucky?
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:33   #11
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Re: Cuba ???

This:
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It is not legal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba without State Department permission, and how many other countries you might visit before or after has absolutely no bearing on it. The only thing that visiting other countries does is make it harder for the authorities to catch you. That's all. Doesn't change the legality of it.

That said, lots of people visit, very few get caught. So the question you have to ask yourself is, are you feelin' lucky?
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:42   #12
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Re: Cuba ???

Get your passport stamped in another country to justify your location.

C.G. WILL stop and check/search vessels returning to the USA but 'accept' the passport stamp. (clue...... dont go directly, radar is very advanced these days, If you have AIS..... or Spot..... switch it off!)

dont be a dick and have bottles of Cuba goods like cigars and rum all over the boat...... like a friend of mine, but thats another story......and one he hates me repeating.... ha!
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:43   #13
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Re: Cuba ???

So Cuba does not stamp your passport?
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:46   #14
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Re: Cuba ???

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So Cuba does not stamp your passport?
Not in my experience........if you are American.
Im not American but have a greencard. So I didnt want one either.

Weird....... I flew to Cuba from UK on Brit Passport, had great time, flew home...
Back to States living in Florida, I couldnt go legally. Weird.
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:51   #15
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Re: Cuba ???

I visited Cuba in December of 2002. I daresay the statue of limitations has long since passed, so I can admit it without significant danger to myself .

I flew to Havana via Mexico. Other than flying in an airplane that looked as old as I (even though it actually was not), there was no significant danger. I always felt safe. They do not stamp your passport, so you receive no evidence that you were in the country.

At least in 2002, Cuba was a place neatly divided between the tourist world and the world of actual Cubans. The tourist world is designed to extract as much money as humanly possible by stacking you into pricey tour busses and taking you to expensive attractions. Unless there are specific sites you want to see, I would recommend random wandering over going through the tourist routine.

Wander the streets, photograph the cool but picturesquely decaying architecture and make some new friends.

It's technically true that you are allowed to visit Cuba all you want as long as you don't spend any money. Of course the moment you dock at the marina you have to break that rule. I highly recommend trying not to break it in spirit, because when you are spending money in Cuba, you are supporting a corrupt and nasty regime that doesn't deserve your support. In other words, I don't really care about US law as a basis for morality, but I do believe it's bad form to support the nasty dictatorship, if that makes any sense.

Fortunately, as cruisers we can warehouse our food, anchor out most days, and overall make our cruise as economical as possible, without breaking a sweat. People using any other techniques to visit Cuba are in far worse shape in terms of having to support the regime during their visit.

Regardless of legality, everyone should visit Cuba at least once. Why? Because you can see the follies of a Communist system. It is both funny and pathetic to see how badly it works and is run, and see how good people are hamstrung by it. You will never see Karl Marx in the same way again, as long as you talk to Cuban people instead of going on the regime's PR tours.

My favorite example was restaurants. Visiting a restaurant in Cuba, whether it's a $2 cafeteria style place for locals or a $200 luxury eatery, is a surreal experience. You see, they all are required to purchase the raw ingredients from the same state-owned sources. The state-owned sources buy them from the farmers at giveaway prices. So the farmers save the best stuff for the private markets and give the dregs to the state, and the dregs then wind up on your tables. The most horrendously expensive private restaurants buy food from BOTH the state sources and the private markets and sell off the state food. Then they can finally give you high-quality meats and vegetables, but at prices higher than you'll see at fancy US places. Suffice it to say that Cuba is far from a gourmet's paradise and you will probably be relieved to rely on your own provisions purchased outside of the country.

I eventually circumvented this by having my casa particular (a private home you can stay in) cook for me. They would buy the food from the farmers' markets and cook it specifically for me. It was delicious! I asked them why they didn't open their own restaurant, and the above is the answer: It would have been awful, just like all the others ... sad.

Ironically enough, the best pro-American propaganda is going to Cuba and seeing how actual Cubans live ...

Please note that none of this represents actual experience in visiting Cuba as a cruiser, but I felt it would be of interest because relatively few people have actually done it. I wanted to see a Communist state before they all went away. I'm glad I did.

David
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