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  #91  
Old 04-28-2012
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hola

Interesting thread. Cutting to the chase, when the US government boards your boat on the way back to US waters, what do they look for?? If all you've done is buy a fish sandwich in Havannah are they going to disect your stool with an onboard microscope? Further, how can you be blamed or proven you were there?(see note below)~ as when you pass thru a yellow light these days driving an automobile they show a video taken by a traffic signal camera @ the DMV at the request or dismay of the driver, surely the preforementioned government blimps are not equipped with high resolution cameras...

NOTE: Having rethought this a bit, I assume some posters mean that after you enter Hemmingway Marina area, & meet with local customs, THEY STAMP? your US passport, thus that is what US officials will render as evidence of your elusive travels...
And I assume landing on the island without passing thru that harbour is foolish?

I have Cuban fishing friends here- they are a wonderful people- thank you to the poster for those amazing photographs

I do highly respected thoughts about getting your boat seized-- that is a potential risk and definitely worth considering!

Lastly, whoever said spending a little pocket change on trinkets is supporting a dictator... that's absolutely ridiculous, the money goes toward poor people eating or sipping a cold relaxing beer, furthermore there is strong argument to say that the more exposure to happy free Westerners, is more of a motivator for them internally to push to unchain, yet I digress...

I vote: go for it, but much of life's risks are about personal choice
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Last edited by floridajaxsailor; 04-28-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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  #92  
Old 04-29-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

A good friend (US citizen) just returned from Cuba on a University tour, properly licensed.

They had to complete a form that indicated their location in each hourly time slot for every single day, 24/7. Their bus had a gps that tracked every movement.

Romanticize all you want. The country is a police state.
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  #93  
Old 04-29-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

I am sure under a government program you're going to be monitored that's part of the ironic aspect of entering legally thru the paperwork channels
I don't feel dramatic statements like police state are productive~ I think it's a wonderful country the pictures spoke volumes and I will certainly go in 2012, my personal choice
though all of the above comments regarding caution are sound

years ago someone once warned me not to go into any of the all black bars in Savannah~ now those musician friends welcome me like treasured family- thus I will be taking my guitars to Havannah
Cheers
-JD
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridajaxsailor View Post
I am sure under a government program you're going to be monitored that's part of the ironic aspect of entering legally thru the paperwork channels
I don't feel dramatic statements like police state are productive~ I think it's a wonderful country the pictures spoke volumes and I will certainly go in 2012, my personal choice
though all of the above comments regarding caution are sound

years ago someone once warned me not to go into any of the all black bars in Savannah~ now those musician friends welcome me like treasured family- thus I will be taking my guitars to Havannah
Cheers
-JD
How will you get in? Are you bringing some kind of aid or are you using another countries visa?
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

I've lived there (and in other "tightly controlled" countries as well), and Cuba is comparatively a pretty benign environment as long as you mind your own business and decline from getting into political discussions. Don't draw undue attention to yourself, and ignore your impulse to go off exploring away from approved areas.

Getting into/out of Cuba for an American is not hard; plenty of folks do it in contravention of the travel restrictions (and no, I'm not going to post a how-to guide.) The Cuban government is happy to accept their contributions to the Cuban economy. What travelers need to carefully consider is what the repercussions may befall them upon their return to the States should their transgressions be discovered. It ultimately comes down to individual assessment of risk/reward. If you take your vessel to Cuba, you could very well wind up losing it -- that risk is too high for me, but you may feel differently.

As far as chartering a boat there -- I am unaware of any charter service for sailboats. Fishing charters (captained, of course) are available, as are sightseeing and dive charters. I think it safe to say that there is no bareboat market at this time.

Last edited by PorFin; 04-30-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 04-30-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
A good friend (US citizen) just returned from Cuba on a University tour, properly licensed.

They had to complete a form that indicated their location in each hourly time slot for every single day, 24/7. Their bus had a gps that tracked every movement.

Romanticize all you want. The country is a police state.
Here's a quote I found in Wiki: On June 27, 2002 U.S. Congressman Ron Paul said in the House of Representatives:


"...'Is America a Police State?' My answer is: 'Maybe not yet, but it is fast approaching.'"[20]

FLORIDAJAXSAILOR will probably feel like he's still in the USA.

I think that the only course of action for USians, who wish for free travel to Cuba, is to push for the lifting of the embargo. Until then obey the law.
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Old 05-03-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

Quote:
Originally Posted by floridajaxsailor View Post
I am sure under a government program you're going to be monitored that's part of the ironic aspect of entering legally thru the paperwork channels
I don't feel dramatic statements like police state are productive~ I think it's a wonderful country the pictures spoke volumes and I will certainly go in 2012, my personal choice
though all of the above comments regarding caution are sound

years ago someone once warned me not to go into any of the all black bars in Savannah~ now those musician friends welcome me like treasured family- thus I will be taking my guitars to Havannah
Cheers
-JD
I know people that have gone and come too. Like you (assuming you spent a lot of time in Miami), I have heard all kinds of stories. However, I will tell you that in the Keys, there are a lot of these little black boats (with 4-350hp outboards) that cruise the outter coast and marinas just waitin to board you. They also have a LOT of black helicopters constantly in the sky. They are called US Customs. The local word there is that the US tracks boats coming out of Cuba to board them. The theory may be to search for drugs or whatever, but Ii simply did not and would not find it worth the risk.

I will stay out of the political debate of it as many here know how I feel. But as has been mentioned many times, you have been warned. Chances are you will be fine. But... is it worth it? Only you can decide that.

Brian
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  #98  
Old 05-04-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

Welcome back, CD. We've missed your wise counsel.
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Old 05-05-2012
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scratching cuba off my list
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Old 05-05-2012
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Re: Cuba in my sights

I'm going to weigh in and offer some direct insight on the monitoring aspect as someone who does this for a living. I'll provide a little open-source intel on some of the current Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) programs in the area for you. I can tell you the area is actively monitored. Whether they choose to take an interest in you depends on a number of factors. Without discussing capabilities I can tell you these aren't just dudes looking out the doors of their aircraft with binoculars; these things have a wide range of airborne sensors onboard that can precisely detect, identify, locate, and report on virtually anything in the region. The bottom line is there is no 'sneaking' to/or back from Cuba.

The government spends several hundred million dollars a month on securing that portion of our border, and while it seems harsh and unwarranted from a cruiser's perspective; I can tell you that the primary interest is not the cruising community, sailors are typically just collateral damage in a much larger picture of international security. While stopping John and Jane Doe aboard the S/V Crappynauticalcliche is not really the goal, by traveling to or from Cuba, you are interjecting yourself into a game with players you'd rather just not be associated with- on both sides.

Lexington Institute

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates the largest non-military fleet of airborne ISR platforms in the world. The U.S. Coast Guard operates a fleet of C-130H/J long-range surveillance aircraft and is in the process of acquiring new HC-144A maritime patrol aircraft. The Office of Air and Marine (OAM), a branch of DHS’s Customs and Border Patrol, has some 290 aircraft and helicopters including refurbished P-3 maritime surveillance aircraft and new King Air 350s with sophisticated ISR suites. OAM currently operates six Predator Bs. One of these has been converted into a maritime surveillance platform in a joint effort with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard plans to acquire a number of vertical take-off UASs for use on its new National Security Cutter. It is currently experimenting with both the Scan Eagle and Fire Scout UASs."

I'm not taking a side in the political discussion and I'm certainly not saying don't go; but if I were hell-bent on going to Cuba, I would make sure to do it in one of the few legal ways available. If the legal avenues don't apply to me (student, journo, etc), I'd have to content myself by sailing somewhere else. Until it's opened for travel, there's nothing on that rock worth losing my boat over.
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Last edited by creedence623; 05-06-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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