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Old 05-07-2013, 18:14   #1
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American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

I am a American on a New Zealand flagged boat that will depart for Cuba in the next couple of weeks. The owner of the boat will pay all expenses whilst in Cuba. I have been researching online and am having difficulties getting a clear answer wether this is legal. I have looked into the licenses that the US treasure departments has available and do not qualify nor would I get one in time.

I have read in other forums of the US coast guard questioning yachts in the waters off Florida and Cuba. What is my best bet?? Look forward to some input!!
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Old 05-07-2013, 18:21   #2
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pirate Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

Could always ask em to do the 'Israeli Favour'....
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Old 05-07-2013, 19:00   #3
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

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What is my best bet??
Best bet for what? What you are planning to do is illegal. People do it, though, and extremely few ever get caught. For those who do get caught, the penalties can be pretty severe.

Basically, you're rolling the dice. If you're lucky you'll have a very pleasant experience. If you're not, you're going to have to accept and live with the consequences.
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Old 05-07-2013, 19:21   #4
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

i DON'T KNOW FOR SURE, But if ya don't get your passport stamped you should be alright! but again the only times we were there we got permission from the coasties to have emergency repairs made to our boat ! And never had to get a stamped passport!! Just a hint !
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Old 05-07-2013, 19:39   #5
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

I am no expert but I thought that the law said US citizens cant trade with Cuba not that they cant go there. That means you have to be able to plausibly claim you never bought anything or sold anything while there. I know a guy who went there on a charter fishing boat from Florida where the fiction was that they brought all of their supplies and only took fish back home with them. Of course, they did in fact land and check it out - but were never questioned or hassled on the way home. Again, I am no expert so dont take my word for this.

thinking about it a bit more, it may also be that they claimed never to have landed either, so maybe they DIDNT go there after all - I am not sure but I do recall that it was key that they didnt buy anything (or at least could claim they didnt)
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Old 05-07-2013, 21:11   #6
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

just go and have fun... obviously don't start using your visa credit card though... Bring plenty of cash with you...
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:34   #7
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

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I am no expert but I thought that the law said US citizens cant trade with Cuba not that they cant go there. That means you have to be able to plausibly claim you never bought anything or sold anything while there.
That's just not the case anymore. There are dozens of extensive threads on Cuba here on the board. If you have a lot of time to spend, do a search. Chuck
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:50   #8
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

Two possible outcomes:

1. Nothing goes wrong, and you have a great time, and lots of fun stories to tell.

2. Something goes wrong where you need help from the State Department to get you out, which will probably result in one of the least unpleasant experiences of your life when you call them and tell them where you are.

Either way, you'll still have some great stories to tell.
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Old 06-07-2013, 19:13   #9
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

A quick google says that the US Trade embargo is against aiding and abetting the enemy... Just forget your first aid skills and don't gamble...


It seems to be against providing US funds and assistance to a communist regime, so see a travel agent and take a wad of Euros instead. Otherwise, just remember your consistution, "WE the PEOPLE, give You the Government these rights" So as a person of the US you should be able to show your government the finger and use your freedom of association to associate with the Cubans... I doubt the government would be very happy with that attitude however...
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Old 06-07-2013, 19:29   #10
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

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just go and have fun... obviously don't start using your visa credit card though... Bring plenty of cash with you...
and not American cash. Take Euros, rubles, or Venezuelan bolívars.

And technically travel to Cuba is open only for Americans with relatives there and prior state authorization for hardship reasons.

I'm sure those NOAA drones flying out off of US gov't boats in the straits are not just weather related, but on the other hand there is an end of Cuba the US Gov't would be happy to allow you to visit. I think it is called Guantanamo something...
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Old 06-07-2013, 19:39   #11
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

Simply put...it is NOT worth the risk! Do NOT go to Cuba, for the time being. As a US citizen, you'll be breaking US Federal laws and thus you'll be subjected to severe penalties including the seizure of your boat.

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Old 06-07-2013, 20:30   #12
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

He won't lose his boat, cus he's going as crew on a NZ boat! The officials won't stamp your passport if ya don't want them to ! Ive had to put into Cuba, with permission from the coasties due to mechicial problems with our boat ! The officials told us outright that they will not stamp US Passports if the stamp are not wanted ! Just a tip from a US citizen who HAD to go to Cuba !
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Old 06-07-2013, 22:18   #13
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

Just don't tell the us media that the government is psying on its own people, and you should be allowed home.
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Old 07-07-2013, 00:26   #14
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

From the Dept. of State. Lots of useful info here for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. And not one mention of it being illegal:

Cuba
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:20   #15
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Re: American sailing to cuba on foreign flagged sailing yacht??

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From the Dept. of State. Lots of useful info here for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. And not one mention of it being illegal:

Cuba
It's not illegal. There are conditions on travel there, though, and we have no consulate there.

Like I said, great trip if nothing goes wrong.
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