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Old 18-12-2015, 14:52   #31
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
The embargo is still technically still in place. Only congress can pass or repeal laws and they have not.

Obama has decided we should normalize relations with Cuba. He cannot get congress to play along and pass new laws. So he has taken purely administrative action to redefine and re-interpret these existing laws to make them as weak as they can be. So, we are currently stuck with laws that were written to be very tough but with an administration that is interpreting them as weakly as possible. It is a very muddled situation. (we have an entirely dysfunctional government at the moment)

Right now it appears that americans need to specifically comply with 4 different existing laws to sail (legally) to cuba. (1) Purely tourist travel to cuba is still clearly illegal, but there are 12 categories of allowed travel that are somewhat 'flexible'. (2) You need a permit (SNAP-R) from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) allowing the vessel to enter Cuba. (3) You need a permit from the USCG allowing US vessels to enter Cuban territorial waters, and this permit requires that the applicant identify the OFAC license and provide the BIS permit. (4) And you need record keeping of all transactions (to meet the specific requirements of 31CFR501.601 and 602).

If you jump thru all four of those hoops successfully you can legally sail to cuba. If you mess up on any of them you can be severely penalized because the penalties were written when cuba was 'the enemy' and you were supporting the enemy if you dealt with them.

It appears that the boat mentioned in the OP somehow failed to do at least #3. And has gotten dinged for it. In the past sometimes officials cared about and enforced the rules (Bush W years) and at other times they did not (Clinton years). We don't know if the USCG really cares about the other rules/permits, but the new fact we have learned from this incident is that they do now care about whether you get a permit from them.

As to racing and insurance - BoatUS has been unusual in the industry historically covered racing as part of its normal cover. It is an actuarial fact that race boats have a higher damage rate, so whether they will continue that 'generous' practice I can not say.
Thank you for the very helpful explanation I had no idea of all of that. I'm presuming the CF members reporting their Cuban trips are technically breaking the law then? Would it really be the price being reported? Seems rediculously excessive.
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Old 18-12-2015, 15:48   #32
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Thank you for the very helpful explanation I had no idea of all of that. I'm presuming the CF members reporting their Cuban trips are technically breaking the law then? Would it really be the price being reported? Seems rediculously excessive.
Depends, there are ways to visit Cuba legally.

Fines can be up to US$250,000 and/or jail time, but usually fines for casual tourists/sailors or much lower (up to about $10K that Ive heard of). Bigger fines have usually been reserved for those with more serious violations, like doing business illegally in Cuba.

$100K, as rumored, would indeed be very high for a sail boat just illegally visiting, but it is just rumored at this point.
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:01   #33
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

^^ yea, agreed, historically fines have been in the $5k - $10k range . . . . however this is the first citation under 'the new system', and there are a lot of people talking about 'just going', so perhaps the USCG wanted to make a point very sharply. Lawyers are involved so there will be discussion and negotiation and it is certainly not clear how it will be resolved or what the ultimate amount might be.
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:13   #34
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Most stories about Cuba travel that I have read do not have all the facts. Any story more than a few weeks old about Cuba is ancient history. To get up to date requirements for sailing in the ocean South of Florida and North of Cuba you need to visit US Customs and Immigration.

That is the legal way. The easiest way is to ask for forgiveness when the USCG stops you.
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:21   #35
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Given this is an international forum, would someone mind explaining this post to an Aussie?

I thought the silly childish spat with Cuba was over and the embargo lifted?
Cuban cigars are really not worth all the hype now days.
Can the USCG give out a 'ticket' amounting to $100 000? Seriously? For what exactly?
In Australia marine insurance excludes a 'race' of any disscription and we need to get cover for a race.
While someone else posted about the laws congress passed embargoing Cuba there is a little more to the story. Congress also passed laws and agreed to international treaties allowing peeps who had property taken by the Cuban government to sue. The result is somewhere in the neighborhood of five thousand judgements for around $US1,000,000,000 from law suits filed against the Cuban government and won by those who had their property taken.

As you can imagine with this much money at steak lobbying congress is furious. In response Cuba has made claims against the US government for a little more than the existing claims against it.

There are a wide range of folks who have won these claims and international law, as well as US law, allows those who have had property taken by a government to seek redress.

Bottom line is peeps are fighting over big bucks.
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:31   #36
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Depends, there are ways to visit Cuba legally.

Fines can be up to US$250,000 and/or jail time, but usually fines for casual tourists/sailors or much lower (up to about $10K that Ive heard of). Bigger fines have usually been reserved for those with more serious violations, like doing business illegally in Cuba.

$100K, as rumored, would indeed be very high for a sail boat just illegally visiting, but it is just rumored at this point.
I would have thought that fines of that nature would be handed out by the courts though, not by the coast guard or any other authority?
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:47   #37
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

What this really hinges on, should such a fine be true, is whether the Coast Guard has imposed the fine, or a Court of Law has imposed the fine. If not a Court of Law, then for the USCG to impose any fine, is illegal.

This from our UK 1688 Bill of Rights, is pertinent as it would have entered Common Law at the time (and thus still have legal force today), and ESPECIALLY as it was included in America's first Bill of Rights circa 1700 AD, which was granted in gratitude for assistance given with the 1688 Glorious Revolution:

Grants of Forfeitures.
"That all Grants and Promises of Fines and Forfeitures of particular persons before Conviction are illegall and void."

Bill of Rights [1688]

The War of Independence didn't take any Rights, Liberties, or Freedoms off Americans, they restored those that had been illegally denied . . . . In fact it was the same sort of illegal denial of those Rights, that caused the War of Independence.

This means on the spot fines are also illegal and void, for example.

Magna Carta also has bearing, because those involved in the Law don't even seem to know what they are supposed to be enforcing:

Article 45:

"We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well. "

Nobody has any power or authority to deny the Birthright of the People to any of these things.

Acting as Judge, Jury, and Prosecution in your own interests, is in violation of all principles of the Rule of Law.

It is what is commonly called, a lawless State (where the proven lie and despotic tyranny of assumed Divine Right is in force, and "The Law is what 'we' say it is").

+1 to Rustic Charm.
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:52   #38
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by Ribbit View Post
What this really hinges on, should such a fine be true, is whether the Coast Guard has imposed the fine, or a Court of Law has imposed the fine. If not a Court of Law, then for the USCG to impose any fine, is illegal.

This from our UK 1688 Bill of Rights, is pertinent as it would have entered Common Law at the time (and thus still have legal force today), and ESPECIALLY as it was included in America's first Bill of Rights circa 1700 AD, which was granted in gratitude for assistance given with the 1688 Glorious Revolution:

Grants of Forfeitures.
"That all Grants and Promises of Fines and Forfeitures of particular persons before Conviction are illegall and void."

Bill of Rights [1688]

The War of Independence didn't take any Rights, Liberties, or Freedoms off Americans, they restored those that had been illegally denied . . . . In fact it was the same sort of illegal denial of those Rights, that caused the War of Independence.

This means on the spot fines are also illegal and void, for example.

Magna Carta also has bearing, because those involved in the Law don't even seem to know what they supposed to be enforcing:

Article 45:

"We will appoint as justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such as know the law of the realm and mean to observe it well. "

Nobody has any power or authority to deny the Birthright of the People to any of these things.

Acting as Judge, Jury, and Prosecution in your own interests, is in violation of all principles of the Rule of Law.
bush lawyers and radicals are such a laugh
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Old 18-12-2015, 16:55   #39
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

I've got to believe the USCG is just enforcing existing law, not creating new fines.

The 100K in fines mentioned isn't verified by any news source.

The primary source here is a blog post, so we probably don't need to whip out the Magna Carta just yet.
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:06   #40
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

It appears to me that the penalties written into law for knowing failure to get the USCG permit are:

(1) Imprisonment for not more than 10 years;
(2) A monetary penalty of not more than $10,000;
(3) Seizure and forfeiture of the vessel; and
(4) A civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day of violation.

Note that #4 would equal $100k after 4 days in cuba.

The USCG is (primarily) a law enforcement agency, and I presume like other such agencies they cite a person, write a proposed 'ticket', and that person can either plead guilty and pay the proposed punishment or plead not-guilty and go to court. In this case, it seems like there was no permit filed, which would seem to make it a bit of an open and shut case, except for potential negotiation about the actual penalty.
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:22   #41
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
It appears to me that the penalties written into law for knowing failure to get the USCG permit are:

(1) Imprisonment for not more than 10 years;
(2) A monetary penalty of not more than $10,000;
(3) Seizure and forfeiture of the vessel; and
(4) A civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day of violation.

Note that #4 would equal $100k after 4 days in cuba.

The USCG is (primarily) a law enforcement agency, and I presume like other such agencies they cite a person, write a proposed 'ticket', and that person can either plead guilty and pay the proposed punishment or plead not-guilty and go to court. In this case, it seems like there was no permit filed, which would seem to make it a bit of an open and shut case, except for potential negotiation about the actual penalty.
If number 4 does indeed stipulate a fine of 'not more than $25k' then this cannot possibly equate to $100k over 4 days. As it is a maximum. And if number 4 is a civil penalty (what ever that means), what is the coast guard doing 'civil' penalties for?
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:39   #42
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Yet another day when it's great to be a Canadian and have a vessel flagged in Canada. My second year of retirement will have me cruising Cuba just as the influx of Americans hits the island nation.

I'm looking forward to exploring the last frontier in the hemisphere... Above water.
Be careful where you go after leaving Cuba. if you go straight to Canada nothing will happen. If you try to stop in the US they might refuse entry.
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Old 18-12-2015, 17:39   #43
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

^^ did you miss the "for each day of violation"?

25 x 4 = 100 max civil fine for 4 days in Cuba without permit is how I read that.

I am no lawyer or legal expert, but I understood that the government can pursue either or both civil and criminal penalties. I believe that most of the "white collar" fines it imposes are civil.

Edit: from wiki . . . . A civil penalty or civil fine is a financial penalty imposed by a government agency as restitution for wrongdoing. The wrongdoing is typically defined by a codification of legislation, regulations, and decrees
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Old 18-12-2015, 21:06   #44
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

I know you don't need a single permit. I saw it on TV the other night when I watched Miami Vice. All you need is an eight hundred hp go fast boat and a little luck. smile
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Old 18-12-2015, 21:39   #45
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

rhino hunt | Sailing Anarchy

heres the article
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