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Old 21-08-2014, 09:05   #46
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

From the U.S. State Dept. website and not from a lawyer...

U.S. federal regulations restrict travel to Cuba to licensed travelers engaged in certain specified activities. All U.S. travel to Cuba must be licensed by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and must fall into one of 12 categories. Further information on the licensing process can be obtained from OFAC or at its website. Those contemplating travel to Cuba should consult the consular information page about the country. Following the resumption of Migration Talks to discuss implementation of the 1994-95 Migration Accords, in July 2013 the State Department announced the extension of the duration of non-immigrant visas for Cuban travelers from six months (single entry) to five years (multiple entry).
Other transactions by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest are also prohibited unless licensed by OFAC. For more information on transactions, please consult OFAC’s website.

Note that there is nothing in this statement regarding not spending any money or contributing to the economy. President George Bush made changes in the regulations during his administration to allow only licensed travel and eliminate the "don't spend any money" portions. One thing that President Obama did that has made a difference is to defund the agencies budgets for monitoring Cuba travels.That said, yes you can probably, and I say probably go to Cuba as a U.S. citizen. But it is still against current laws, spend money or not. So you have to decide. Also note, the State Dept. will not issue these licenses often and never for recreational travel. Chuck
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Old 21-08-2014, 09:36   #47
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
From the U.S. State Dept. website and not from a lawyer...

U.S. federal regulations restrict travel to Cuba to licensed travelers engaged in certain specified activities. All U.S. travel to Cuba must be licensed by the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and must fall into one of 12 categories. Further information on the licensing process can be obtained from OFAC or at its website. Those contemplating travel to Cuba should consult the consular information page about the country. Following the resumption of Migration Talks to discuss implementation of the 1994-95 Migration Accords, in July 2013 the State Department announced the extension of the duration of non-immigrant visas for Cuban travelers from six months (single entry) to five years (multiple entry).
Other transactions by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest are also prohibited unless licensed by OFAC. For more information on transactions, please consult OFAC’s website.

Note that there is nothing in this statement regarding not spending any money or contributing to the economy. President George Bush made changes in the regulations during his administration to allow only licensed travel and eliminate the "don't spend any money" portions. One thing that President Obama did that has made a difference is to defund the agencies budgets for monitoring Cuba travels.That said, yes you can probably, and I say probably go to Cuba as a U.S. citizen. But it is still against current laws, spend money or not. So you have to decide. Also note, the State Dept. will not issue these licenses often and never for recreational travel. Chuck
Instead of hearsay and opinion go to the original source material for information? What a concept.

I have posted the same links in previous threads but obviously needs to be repeated on a regular basis.

May be nitpicking (well no, it is absolutely nitpicking) but as I read the information on the Treasury page http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...ments/cuba.txt the restriction on spending in Cuba was not removed but exceptions were allowed under "general and specific licenses" and "General and specific licenses are available to engage in certain transactions that are otherwise prohibited by the Regulations."

As you noted, the odds of an individual getting one of these licenses for tourist reasons is zero.

Here's the part that anyone contemplating travel to Cuba should know.

"Criminal penalties for violating the Regulations range up to 10 years in prison, $1,000,000 in corporate fines, and $250,000 in individual fines. Civil penalties up to $65,000 per violation may also be imposed."
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Old 21-08-2014, 10:12   #48
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

This is a good time for a little useless information.

A US Office of Foreign Assets Control document quaintly entitled " Cuban Cigar Update " provides everyone with a valuable interpretation of the Cuban Assets, Control Regulations. The update says that no American anywhere may smoke a Cuban cigar

" The Regulations prohibit persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from purchasing, transporting, importing,
or otherwise dealing in or engaging in any transactions
with respect to any merchandise outside the United States
if such merchandise (1) is of Cuban origin . . . . . Thus,
in the case of cigars, the prohibition extends to cigars
manufactured in Cuba and sold in a third country and to
cigars manufactured in a third country from tobacco grown
in Cuba."

So you lot just remember that when you are sitting on the balcony of your hotel room in Mexico smoking a Cuban cigar, big brother is watching. Surrender early and often.

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Old 21-08-2014, 10:23   #49
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

When you start playing word games with the Federal Govt, don't expect it to work out well for you

seems pretty simple
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:17   #50
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

Okay, fine - here's how it is done:

1) Go to Cuba any way you like
2) When you get there, ask them not to stamp your passport
3) When you leave, go to a non-US port. Do NOT tell them you came from Cuba
4) When you leave that port, deny that you were in Cuba.

I HAVE NOT DONE THIS. This is my understanding. It IS illegal, but everyone on the chain is willing to look the other way because they all know the US embargo in Cuba is utterly absurd.

Alternative - marry the beautiful Cuban woman you have been living with for 10 years, then apply for a family travel permit.

Well, that's what an honorable person would do...
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:26   #51
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

But if you were kidnapped by Somali pirate Jihadists and a Cuban Coast Guard boat happened to rescue you, would you be allowed to buy them a beer?
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:37   #52
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
But if you were kidnapped by Somali pirate Jihadists and a Cuban Coast Guard boat happened to rescue you, would you be allowed to buy them a beer?
I'm reporting you for cross-posting threads.
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Old 21-08-2014, 16:43   #53
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

So how many of you wish to sail from Florida to the Southern Bahamas? Ragged Island, Inagua Island, maybe big island to the south?
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Old 21-08-2014, 16:53   #54
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by Deaf Sailor View Post
So in theory - As a US Citizen I can exchange my dollars for Deutschmarks (or South African Krugerrands, whatever) go to Cuba and buy all the rum and cigars I want, and it'd be legal?
Nope (defunct currency issue asise). It is not just illegal to spend US$. The original, and still in force, embargo prohibits ANY transaction...including barter.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:11   #55
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

I'll follow the laws and Constitution equal to the extent demonstrated by our current government.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:11   #56
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
...

It is not illegal to visit Cuba, it is only illegal to contribute in any way to the Cuban economy.

....
Under the orginal emabargo this was true, but no longer so since Duh W's related executive order. Now any travel to Cuba by a USA Citizen must be explicity authorized.

Glad I got to visit Castro's Cuba during the Clinton era while there were still legally viable options for recreational sailors. It was a great experience.

(the guys standing back in the corner are party officials keeping an eye on things)
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Old 21-08-2014, 19:23   #57
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Under the orginal emabargo this was true, but no longer so since Duh W's related executive order. Now any travel to Cuba by a USA Citizen must be explicity authorized.
Well, more or less correct. It is still illegal to contribute Cuban economy, unless you are authorized. So, the amended version:

"It is not illegal to visit Cuba, it is only illegal to contribute in any way to the Cuban economy unless you have a general or specific license issued by the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control as specified in The Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515."
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Old 21-08-2014, 19:56   #58
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

For those that might be interested, a disabled US Flagged sailboat (with my friends on board) entered Matanzas and the crew was restricted to the vessel. They made sufficient repairs and were able to travel to Havana ( Hemmingway Marina ) and were restricted to the vessel. The US State department was contacted by the crew members and a travel visa was issued. They were then permitted to leave the boat.

On their return to the US (MIA airport) each crew member had a lengthy interview with homeland security.
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Old 21-08-2014, 20:30   #59
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by Custom30 View Post
Let's say I went to Cuba with a buddy boat from say, Canada. Let's also say I had "sponsored" my Canadian friend's stay in Key West, and paid for all of their expenses.

What if my Canadian friends repaid my hospitality by "sponsoring" my trip to Cuba, not allowing me to spend a dime?

I will not have contributed to the Cuban economy, and have spent no money of any kind. I have merely consumed various products purchased entirely by others, who can legally purchase them.

I am pretty sure this would be legal today, but what is legal may not matter. It is not possible to prove someone spent money in Cuba, unless they were sent with marked bills, but that doesn't stop the Gov's harassment tactics. Face it, without your own confession, there can be no proof that you spent money, it's not like the Cubans are gonna testify.

.
You and others who think that US rules that prohibit travel to Cuba by Americans without a license are not a problem if you do not spend money there are confused or ignorant about the rules.

Once you have taken the time to read the rules enforced by OFAC (Treasury Dept) if you still feel relaxed look up the rules enforced by BIS (Commerce Dept), which include sanctions to those who "export" "certain things" to Cuba. By the way "certain things" includes any type of boat made in the US and "export" includes going there for a cruise.

Do not shoot the messenger.. I never voted in the US; I only payed taxes there but I am familiar with the rules because at some point I got paid to keep our British employer out of trouble.. Feel free to break those rules but do not be confused about it.

Cheers

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Old 21-08-2014, 21:43   #60
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

Well, Cuba seems to have decided to make the boat part easy. Just leave it in Cuba at the new "biggest marina in the Caribbean ". Leave the boat for up to 10 years without having to pay any import tax. Of course, you still have to figure out how to visit your boat.

Cuba Liberalizes Foreign-Boat Policy: 10-Year Stays | | PassageMaker
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