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Old 15-10-2007, 12:28   #1
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Cuba Libre, Anyone ?

Hey guys just recently finished a two month trip throught the bahmas on our 37' Beneteau. We went as south as Long Island and as north as Walkers. The trip was incredible! We lived off the ocean and were diving and kiteboarding every single day!

I have sailed from Puerto Rico through the SVI to BVI and back and this put ideas in my head for the next trip. This next summer I wanted to hit Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, SVI, BVI, and Turks and Caicos from Florida. We were contemplating hitting Cuba on the way as our first stop but do not know if this is possible!? I know you can fly to Cuba as an American so long as it isn't direct. It would be a party getting shot down as a U.S. vessel in Cuban waters... Is there any way we could make it happen? Even writing letters to the government asking permission to enter waters for anykind of reason?

Any input would be much appreciated!
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Alex
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Old 15-10-2007, 12:50   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexleclainche View Post
This next summer I wanted to hit Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, SVI, BVI, and Turks and Caicos from Florida. We were contemplating hitting Cuba on the way as our first stop but do not know if this is possible!? I know you can fly to Cuba as an American so long as it isn't direct. It would be a party getting shot down as a U.S. vessel in Cuban waters... Is there any way we could make it happen? Even writing letters to the government asking permission to enter waters for anykind of reason?

Any input would be much appreciated!
Warm winds,
Alex
I don't offer the following from direct personal experience, you understand, but I've been told by others that many American boats visit Cuba even though our State Department has declared it off limits. The Cubans, of course, have no problem with Americans coming to their island to spend money.

When you clear in, you will be given the option of having your passport stamped on a separate piece of paper which you will keep tucked in your passport while in Cuban territory (I'm told). Then, after you clear out, if the Cuban stamped paper gets lost before you clear in to your next port, who's to say you were ever in Cuba (I hear).

Best of luck to you, Alex, in your adventures. Oh, to be young and irresponsible again <sigh>.

TaoJones
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Old 15-10-2007, 12:54   #3
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Goto the search menu and type in Cuba. It has had much discussion in the past, good and bad......................_/)
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Old 15-10-2007, 12:56   #4
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Thanks TaoJones, I really appreciate your input and thats how I figured it would be but I am worried about them being able to seize my boat and then becoming helpless in that kind of situation. I wonder if that is even an option or if any of those U.S. vessels you have talked about have had any kind of problems with Cuban Coast Guard authorities.
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Old 15-10-2007, 13:31   #5
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There are far too many American Coast Guard vessels in the area of Cuba for purposes of drug interdiction to risk your boat and possibly your freedom by visiting Cuba at this time. Tensions between the White House and Cuba will probably relax once the presidential elections are over. Before the current administration, travel to Cuba was acceptable in certain situation, such as providing medical and cultural aid and exchange. Those days are gone, at least for the time being.
Your travels, like your battles, should be chosen wisely.
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Old 15-10-2007, 14:25   #6
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Quote:
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... American boats visit Cuba even though our State Department has declared it off limits. The Cubans, of course, have no problem with Americans coming to their island to spend money. ...
As noted, any potential problems with cruising Cuba, will come from American authorities - NOT Cuban.
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Old 15-10-2007, 16:26   #7
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Well I was there two years ago but I'm a Canadian but there were lots of American boats there. As said already don't worry about the Cuban Coast Guard just USCG. We, me and my American sailing buddy, sailed to Cuba and back from Marathon Florida. We weren't stopped either way but we did hear about others who were stopped on the way but allowed to continue. Just don't say you're going there just passing by to Mexico.

Believe me its great place to visit. Can't wait until I can go back again.

Paul
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Old 15-10-2007, 21:27   #8
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Are you worried about the Cubans seizing your boat or the American government seizing your boat?
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Old 16-10-2007, 04:54   #9
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Get caught in Cuban waters and you will be arrested and fined, your boat will be confiscated. The last attempt at a regatta got all arrested in Key West, resulting in a long protracted legal battle costing over $100.000. That group had been doing the regattas for decades. Got caught in the battle over the Cuban vote in Miami. Hey, it made the difference! All this by the freedom loving American military. Gotta love the hypocrisy.
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Old 01-11-2007, 19:04   #10
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Get a Canadian credit card, apparently American ones won't work in Cuba - an American thing. Some Canadian Credit Unions were bought out, and Canadians owning certain credit cards from these Credit Unions are being warned they won't work in Cuba now - American company bought out the Credit Unions. I'll see if I can find the story and offer a link to it:

Here is what I found, you need to scroll down to credit cards accepted in Cuba, this wasn't the link I wanted but it will do:

Cuba Junky - Cuba, Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 02-11-2007, 02:38   #11
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CU Electronic Transaction Services (CUETS) was acquired by the Canadian subsidiary of the Bank of America. As a result, “MasterCard” cards, issued by CUETwill not work in Cuba, North Korea, Burma, Iran and Sudan.
The article:
U.S. embargo of Cuba hits many Canadian MasterCard holders
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:34   #12
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I've been there, wouldn't advise going until the US government uses it's resources going after actual threats than tracking down US citizens with Cuban momentos. All other countries can go, but wouldn't suggest US citizen going. Of course, the very wealthy continue to go on "cultural" trips to buy art, fully legal.


More Agents Track Castro than Bin Laden
By The Associated Press
Friday 30 April 2004

....
Sen. Max Baucus, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, requested the figures, which showed that at the end of 2003, OFAC had 21 full-time agents working Cuba violations and just four full-time workers hunting bin Laden's and Saddam's riches.

In addition, the Office of Foreign Assets Control said that between 1990 and 2003 it opened just 93 enforcement investigations related to terrorism. Since 1994 it has collected just $9,425 in fines for terrorism financing violations.

In contrast, OFAC opened 10,683 enforcement investigations since 1990 for possible violations of the long-standing economic embargo against Fidel Castro's regime, and collected more than $8 million in fines since 1994, mostly from people who sent money to, did business with or traveled to Cuba without permission.
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Old 02-11-2007, 17:01   #13
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Your concerns about vessel seizure will come from the US Government and NOT from the Cubans unless you do something very very stupid while there. Just wait til after the next administration change after the elections. Things should change for the better.
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Old 03-11-2007, 22:03   #14
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Of course not all your problems might come from America as this sailor found out.
Remember also if you have insurance it won't do you any good there.

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Old 04-11-2007, 01:02   #15
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To balance out that report

Texas Bluff
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