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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #31  
Old 01-01-2011
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I agree there is silliness in how the embargo is managed. However, Cuba is the closest government that not only could but actually has attempted to install WMDs for the explicit purpose of threatening the USA. It is so close, we would not be able to react in time to a launch. Americans would die.

The leadership of the government that made that attempt is still in power. You don't think they just changed their minds and removed the missiles out of the goodness of their hearts, do you? Then, when the Russians had little use for that strategic alliance any longer, they abandoned Cuba.

I'm sure we will all get past this one day, but not for a minute do I trust the current leadership in Cuba. They haven't threatened Europe, Mexico or Canada, which is why those countries haven't put a horse in this race.
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  #32  
Old 01-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I agree there is silliness in how the embargo is managed. However, Cuba is the closest government that not only could but actually has attempted to install WMDs for the explicit purpose of threatening the USA. It is so close, we would not be able to react in time to a launch. Americans would die.

The leadership of the government that made that attempt is still in power. You don't think they just changed their minds and removed the missiles out of the goodness of their hearts, do you? Then, when the Russians had little use for that strategic alliance any longer, they abandoned Cuba.

I'm sure we will all get past this one day, but not for a minute do I trust the current leadership in Cuba. They haven't threatened Europe, Mexico or Canada, which is why those countries haven't put a horse in this race.
Well Minnewaska you are correct, Cuba never threatened Europe, Canada, or Mexico. However, none of those countries ever attempted an invasion of Cuba, BAY OF PIGS comes to mind.

We have always approved of any dictator, in any country, as long as we controlled them. You are also correct in feeling that the Cuban government cannot be trusted, nor can ours.

Last edited by Leocat66; 01-01-2011 at 06:39 PM.
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  #33  
Old 01-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leocat66 View Post
Well Minnewaska you are correct, Cuba never threatened Europe, Canada, or Mexico. However, none of those countries ever attempted an invasion of Cuba, BAY OF PIGS comes to mind.

We have always approved of any dictator, in any country, as long as we controlled them. You are also correct in feeling that the Cuban government cannot be trusted, nor can ours.
That's a little harsh, and I'm no fan of our government these days.

Bay of Pigs was not entirely an unprovoked attack on a leader that we couldn't control. It was during the middle of the cold war and Cuba was clearly conspiring with the Soviet Union against the US, as ultimately proven during the missile crisis. I don't think Cuba was conspiring against Mexico during the cold war.

It isn't that we disapproved of a dictator that wouldn't be controlled, it was retaliation for a dictator that was conspiring to do harm to us.

Now, I still think we should have been able to resolve this by now. But, we haven't and neither has Cuba.
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Old 01-01-2011
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This thread is rapidly turning into a political/historical debate. I would suggest people who have not been to Cuba by boat/do not have relevant information for w1651 about the procedures, precautions, and preparations to make for his potential voyage. I don't think the rightness and justification for the embargo and government positions should be addressed here, simply how, what, and when the author could go about this trip if he decides to. It comes down to a personal choice, and those who have already posted have made clear the benefits and shortcomings. Let's stop the politics now and offer relevant responses to the original question.
I personally know many cruisers who have gone to Cuba by boat and had a wonderful time, with no problems from the US government later on. I would say plan on taking additional time and don't cruise to only Cuba if you are able. There are many other places worth seeing, and it may be safer/easier to return from one of these places. Also consider taking a longer sail to re-enter the US in a more northern port such as Pensacola or New Orleans if you want to allay concerns raised about the Customs agents in ports such as Marathon, it is only a few days further to sail up the gulf and you can have an enjoyable sail back to St. Pete along the US coast.
Happy Sailing!
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  #35  
Old 01-02-2011
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Since the OP's location says FL and they are asking about something that is specifically illegal for a US citizen to do, I don't think it is too far off the path to dabble in why that is the case.

The analogy, as infuriating as it may be, is this.

When you buy illegal drugs, your money is going directly to fund the drug cartels, which kill people everyday. When you travel to and spend money in Cuba, you are helping fund a government that has attempted to install missiles aimed at your family. By all indications, if we hadn't muscled them out, they would do it again.

I don't like that we haven't figured out a way to get past this and believe we have made some bad moves that exacerbated the situation. I suspect we could have negotiated our way through this, but with several attempts on Castro's life along the way, I doubt they are very interested in talking.

I will vote for someone that is willing to change the laws I don't agree with, but will abide by them until they do. You are free to make your own decisions, I'm not here to pick a fight. Just explaining the subtle highjacking.
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Old 01-02-2011
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I think what has been established is that it is not technically illegal to go, if I understood the previous posts correctly. I would caution anyone considering this trip to carefully read up on the government legislation and consult local officials for accurate, up-to-date information on the subject including the current government's level of enforcement and interpretation of clauses. Beyond that, godspeed and have a wonderful trip!
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I am a US citizen and I was in Havana about this time last year. The government and the people both love to have us there.

It is our government that has the issues with us going there. Remember this that when you do leave if you head in any direction remotely close to a direction that will lead you into US water you will be boarded.

Visiting the country was one of the most memorable times of my life. I look forward to the next time I can return.
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  #38  
Old 01-02-2011
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So it would seem the best way to approach a Cuba trip is make it the first or second stop on a more extended cruise to other, government-approved Caribbean destinations to avoid many of the issues associated with approaching and entering the US from Cuba. Douglas and Bernadette Bernon did just this leaving on their cruise on Ithaka, albeit 10 years ago. Their account of sailing to Cuba is available here, I haven't read it in a while but seem to recall it references the government issues, at least on the Cuba side of things. Hope this is useful: BoatUS Cruising Logs
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  #39  
Old 01-03-2011
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There is no debate that it is illegal for a US citizen to travel to Cuba for tourism, despite whether some get away with it. I don't pick and choose which laws I will and will not follow, whether I like them or not. You are free to make your own choices.

Cuba

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS, TRAVEL TRANSACTION LIMITATIONS: The Cuban Assets Control Regulations are enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and affect all U.S. citizens and permanent residents wherever they are located, all people and organizations physically located in the United States, and all branches and subsidiaries of U.S. organizations throughout the world. The regulations require that persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction be licensed in order to engage in any travel-related transactions pursuant to travel to, from, and within Cuba. Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico or Canada. U.S. law enforcement authorities enforce these regulations at U.S. airports and pre-clearance facilities in third countries. Travelers who fail to comply with Department of the Treasury regulations could face civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States.
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Old 01-03-2011
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Yes, but that refers to "TRAVEL TRANSACTIONS", or worded alternately, spending money while there, and not to travel itself. Per technical wording of the law, one can technically go there legally by boat and not spend money, bringing all of your food, etc etc and not purchasing souvenirs while in the country. However, US Customs will assume you must have spent money there if you were there unless you can prove otherwise, a "guilty until proven innocent" situation. One of the often referenced solutions to this is to take on a Canadian crew member and have this person make all purchases and have proof in form of receipts, etc, to that extent.
All of this being said, certainly the safest course is to wait and see what happens now given the position of our government and the newish leadership in Cuba.
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