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Old 20-08-2014, 10:12   #1
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OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

I was wondering if it is ok to sail to Cuba directly from a US port or do you have to play games and sail from a "foreign" port nearby. Thanks!
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:19   #2
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

If you do a search on this forum you will find at least 10-15 discussions on this in the last year or so.

Short answer is NO if you are a US citizen or legal resident. Even if you play games you are not allowed to legally go to Cuba no matter how you get there. Lots of people do and almost none are charged with violating the regulations but they could be fined, lose their boat or worse. Not likely but I'm not willing to take that chance.

Up to you what you do. If you do decide to risk it do not come back to south Florida, especially Key West to clear back into the US.
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:19   #3
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

Just go, then you can return and find out and tell us all about it


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Old 20-08-2014, 10:22   #4
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

LOL!! Yes, I just went to Noon Site and found my answer. So stupid!

US yachts are not forbidden from cruising in Cuba, but if they do not obtain a licence from the US Treasury Department and permission from the US Coast Guard, they may experience difficulties when returning to the USA (see further details under USA Clearance). This situation may change if relations between the two countries are normalised.

Thanks!
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:29   #5
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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LOL!! Yes, I just went to Noon Site and found my answer. So stupid!

US yachts are not forbidden from cruising in Cuba, but if they do not obtain a licence from the US Treasury Department and permission from the US Coast Guard, they may experience difficulties when returning to the USA (see further details under USA Clearance). This situation may change if relations between the two countries are normalised.

Thanks!
Technically you can apply for the permits. In reality you will never get one. They are not for tourism. You have to go for some humanitarian or other approved reason. Drinking rum and smoking Cuban cigars is not one.

So far the only permits I know of, besides religious or medical organizations that go for humanitarian reasons, have been issued to organizations that put together cultural exchange trips with scheduled trips.
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:34   #6
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

It's not illegal for a US Citizen to go to Cuba, according to a lawyer here. It's only illegal for a US Citizen to spend US dollars in Cuba. So, technically, if you had engine problems and pulled in and dropped the hook while you fixed them and didn't spend money or charge things, and then left Cuba and checked into the Turks and Caicos, or Haiti, or the Dominican Republic, or the Bahamas or all of the above, you'd be below the radar.
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:36   #7
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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
Technically you can apply for the permits. In reality you will never get one. They are not for tourism. You have to go for some humanitarian or other approved reason. Drinking rum and smoking Cuban cigars is not one.

So far the only permits I know of, besides religious or medical organizations that go for humanitarian reasons, have been issued to organizations that put together cultural exchange trips with scheduled trips.
Skip....

I think we need to apply for a "cultural exchange" trip ...
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:40   #8
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

Continuing to maintain the embargo, after 54 years is stupid and a waste of my tax payer dollars. I see nothing wrong with me, or any american, going to Cuba and enjoying gallons of cheap rum, fine cigars and cultural exchanges with fine/upstanding Cuban women.

Damn politics and fearmongers
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:51   #9
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Continuing to maintain the embargo, after 54 years is stupid and a waste of my tax payer dollars. I see nothing wrong with me, or any american, going to Cuba and enjoying gallons of cheap rum, fine cigars and cultural exchanges with fine/upstanding Cuban women.

Damn politics and fearmongers
Agreed!
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Old 20-08-2014, 10:52   #10
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Continuing to maintain the embargo, after 54 years is stupid and a waste of my tax payer dollars. I see nothing wrong with me, or any american, going to Cuba and enjoying gallons of cheap rum, fine cigars and cultural exchanges with fine/upstanding Cuban women.

Damn politics and fearmongers

I'm with you on that one. I don't accept that the US government has any right to tell me where I can go on the planet when I'm not inside the US.
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Old 20-08-2014, 11:13   #11
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
It's not illegal for a US Citizen to go to Cuba, according to a lawyer here. It's only illegal for a US Citizen to spend US dollars in Cuba. So, technically, if you had engine problems and pulled in and dropped the hook while you fixed them and didn't spend money or charge things, and then left Cuba and checked into the Turks and Caicos, or Haiti, or the Dominican Republic, or the Bahamas or all of the above, you'd be below the radar.
Unfortunately this is repeated over and over in these discussions and it is just incorrect. It was the case once upon a time, but was changed long ago. This topic has been discussed at length here on the forum many times. There isn't much in the way of new news to add to the discussion. Chuck
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Old 20-08-2014, 11:17   #12
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Continuing to maintain the embargo, after 54 years is stupid and a waste of my tax payer dollars. I see nothing wrong with me, or any american, going to Cuba and enjoying gallons of cheap rum, fine cigars and cultural exchanges with fine/upstanding Cuban women.

Damn politics and fearmongers
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I'm with you on that one. I don't accept that the US government has any right to tell me where I can go on the planet when I'm not inside the US.
I'll simply +1 these posts because they said it so much more politely than I would have.
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Old 20-08-2014, 11:30   #13
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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I'm with you on that one. I don't accept that the US government has any right to tell me where I can go on the planet when I'm not inside the US.

Given the state the world, I nearly split my coffee laughing to that one.

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Old 20-08-2014, 11:35   #14
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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Originally Posted by SailingwithSoul View Post
Continuing to maintain the embargo, after 54 years is stupid and a waste of my tax payer dollars.
Totally agree. Not only stupid but pointless and achieves nothing. We have an economic embargo against Cuba but trade with many countries with much worse human rights records.

It is course strictly politics and nothing more than a ploy to win the Cuban expat vote in south Florida.
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Old 20-08-2014, 11:41   #15
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Re: OK to go to Cuba if you are a US Citizen?

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It's not illegal for a US Citizen to go to Cuba, according to a lawyer here. It's only illegal for a US Citizen to spend US dollars in Cuba.
That is a more accurate statement of the situation and in the past sailors exploited that loophole by saying they stayed on their boat, did not pay for a hotel room, ate on the boat so spent no money in a restaurant, etc. However, the government figured that out pretty quickly and made it clear that this was not allowed. So even though it is not specifically illegal to go to Cuba, it is illegal to spend money in Cuba IE to contribute to their economy. It has been determined that one cannot be in Cuba without spending money. Therefore since A = B and B = C so A = C that is it is by default illegal to go to Cuba.


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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
So, technically, if you had engine problems and pulled in and dropped the hook while you fixed them and didn't spend money or charge things, and then left Cuba and checked into the Turks and Caicos, or Haiti, or the Dominican Republic, or the Bahamas or all of the above, you'd be below the radar.
Forget being below the radar. I have heard rumors that if you have a breakdown you can go to Cuba and even spend money to repair your boat.
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