|U.S.Citizens click here to learn how to avoid fines for unlicensed travel to Cuba|
The above page was marked "UNDER REVISION!" as of 12-27-03... perhaps removed under USA government pressure...
Below, in the spirit of our cherished freedom of the press, you can find a reproduction of some of the removed information. Refer to
|General Info: Special Info for US Citizens|
belief holds that U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens (Green Card
holders) are forbidden by law to travel to Cuba. This is not true. The
applicable legislation is the Trading with the Enemy Act under which the
restriction is not on travel but on spending money in Cuba. Thus Americans
who sail to Cuba in regattas or who bring their fishing yachts to
participate in tournaments are not breaking the law simply by entering
Cuban territoral waters. Of course one can practically equate the ban on
spending money in Cuba to a travel ban because in normal circumstances a
visitor must spend money on accommodations, food and other necessities.
Exceptions to the ban on spending money in Cuba are allowed by licenses issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department. Those interested in reading the official policy regarding travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba can view the appropriate documents at the websites of the Departments of State and Treasury.
General licenses, which do not require individual permissions for visits, are issued by OFAC for certain categories of people like journalists employed by a recognized media organization. Others who are "fully hosted," meaning that they are invited and their expenses are paid by a non-U.S. host individual or organization, may also visit without an individual license. Some institutions also have licenses that cover anyone they authorize to use their license for travel in keeping with the terms of the license. Those not in the general license categories or not traveling under an institutional license must apply for a specific license and expect a waiting period. No one should expect to get a license to visit Cuba out of curiosity or for tourism, and there is no point in applying. However, we can help groups get coverage by an institutional license for people-to-people, humanitarian, religious and other approved purposes. And if you want to come without license, you will find information below that shows some of the ways to get around the legal impediments to visiting Cuba.
We could engage in lengthy discourse on historical reasons for U.S. policy toward Cuba, seen the world over as utterly absurd, but we'll leave it with a short opinion. We believe Cuban-American extremists with deep pockets and their ultra-conservative allies in the American political class long to see socialism overthrown in Cuba and a return of Cuba to U.S. tutelage. They have spent princely sums to propagate the false allegation that Cuba is a threat to the United States, and they will go to any lengths, including terrorism, to cause damage to Cuba. Until now these people have been able to thwart the wishes of a majority of Americans, according to most of the polls, who wish to see an end to the travel ban and the illegal and inhuman embargo (or "blockade" as it is known in Cuba).
No American must accept this government policy maintained by a reduced number of moneyed extremists. Each year in fact tens of thousands of U.S. citizens are defying the law and coming to Cuba without licenses. And to our knowledge no one has ever been criminally prosecuted for simply visiting Cuba. OFAC has attempted to levy civil fines in a few cases, but there are ways to beat this system. The law is intended to intimidate, and until the current Bush administration it was little enforced. Cubalinda.com encourages Americans to use our services to visit this fascinating country. You will find that Cubans are probably more interested in Americans and American popular culture than in any other nationality. And one thing is certain: Cubans will extend to Americans the very same hospitality and friendship that they extend traditionally to all foreigners.
You should arrange for your roundtrip reservations from your point of departure to your choice of gateway cities through your regular travel agent or directly with the prefered airline. Your roundtrip airline ticket to Cuba will be purchased completely separately. This way on your return flight to the gateway city you can discard your ticket for the Cuba flight after it departs Cuba and still have in hand your ticket for return to your point of departure in the U.S..
Those Americans who visit Cuba without licenses should know that U.S. immigration forms for returning travelers may ask what countries you have visited. Since without a license you cannot come on direct U.S.-Cuba charter flights, you will normally have come via a gateway city. You should include Cuba as well as the transit country, and if an immigration or customs officer directly asks if you visited Cuba, you must admit it because lying to a federal officer is an offence. Americans who admit to U.S. officials that they visited Cuba without a license are not denied re-entry or arrested. Some officers may give a little lecture, some may say nothing, sometimes baggage may be closely inspected and your rum or cigars confiscated, and sometimes passports may be copied or notes taken. It is in no way an intimidating or scary procedure.
Travel to Cuba is really quite simple. Just let us know when you want to come, check out Flights to and from Cuba, and send us information on your expected time of arrival in the gateway city. We will book your most convenient onward flight to Cuba. You do need a valid U.S. passport to get your Cuban tourist card at the departure airport of the gateway city. On your arrival in Cuba you do not have to have your passport stamped and you may wish to remind the immigration inspector not to stamp it. Your tourist card will be stamped instead. On departure through Cuban immigration you simply return the tourist card, and no sign of travel to Cuba appears in your passport.
Finally, we repeat our encouragement to Americans to visit Cuba and get to know the truth about one of our nearest neighbors. Take the plunge and have a memorable adventure. We are here in Havana to help.