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  #21  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Cuba is one of the best places to visit in the Caribbean, with absolutely the best coral reefs in the area. It is a shame that US continues it's failed policies of isolating Cuba from American people.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
dawg, oddly enough the DOS OFAC guide says that you don't need specific permission to visit a close relative (3 generations) who is a Cuban national. Doesn't say a word about dead or alive so "I'm going to visit my grandfather, I've never met him" might actually be all you need to say.

Could be worth looking into, because visiting family gravesites isn't on the slim list of allowed reasons, but the rules don't say anything about the relatives having to be living.
It is a good idea, but I don't know if I have any proof of my claim. My Grandfather left for Cuba shortly after my father was born the 20'a. He went back home five years later and took my oldest uncle with him for Cuba again. He died in Havana when my father was 11 yo. My family lost contact with my uncle during the war. My father reestablished communication in the 70's. During the massive exodus of Cubans to America in the 70's, my uncle refused to move to America. I was told that he might have a "wife" in Havana. .

So I may be meeting with my cousins in Havana
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Bottom line is, ANY AMERICAN citizen can legally visit Cuba today...

It's simply a matter of how much, and to whom, you're willing to pay for the 'privilege':
If you lay low and go about a quiet way to and from Cuba indirectly via another foreign country, I doubt the U.S government will prosecute you even if they know.

Has anyone know of someone goes to jail as an American tourist visit to Cuba? I met a few American Cruisers in DR that have visited Cuba, they all encouraged me to go there.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Some of that information appears to be somewhat outdated... The prohibition on prepaid package tours, for example, is dated from 12 years ago...

Bottom line is, ANY AMERICAN citizen can legally visit Cuba today...

It's simply a matter of how much, and to whom, you're willing to pay for the 'privilege':
They are trying to say that prepaying a tour company outside of Cuba and then saying you didn't spend any money in Cuba doesn't count as legal. Never has and still doesn't.

I know its ridiculous, but they are allowing "cultural" tours, specifically and individually sanctioned by the Treasury dept to go and anyone can do this, if they have the money. However, getting one of those tours sanctioned is not easy, not frequent and it takes much more than a mom and pop travel agency to do it. i.e. The Smithsonian you referenced.
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  #25  
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

I was a navigator on a Coast Guard C130 and Cuba is very protective of their airspace. Violating it will be a MIG photo op!

The way the runways in Guantanamo were setup required a really tight turn in order to stay on the US side. It was amazing to see the Airforce Galaxy make this turn and quickly land. Even on a C130, it was entertaining at times.

One of our pilots suffered an eye injury from a Cuban laser when landing. Ended his career.

Cuba is beautiful, the government is bad and the people suffer terribly - it's sad. Not that this bothers anyone outside the US that takes advantage of cheap vacations to be had. BTW, the money skips over the "regular" Cubans and is directed to the Communist Party elitists. Even in poor countries there are wealthy people. The wealthy are picked by the elite ruling class in Cuba, you can't earn your wealth.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

I agree that if our goal is to bring capitalism and freedom to Cuba, we are going about it in a very strange way.

I can't think of any better way to show Cubans how poor a form of government that communism is, than to flood them with tons of middle class American tourists who will spend more in one week than most Cubans make in one year.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

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I agree that if our goal is to bring capitalism and freedom to Cuba, we are going about it in a very strange way.
Pretty sure that's not the first goal there. We are on friendly terms with all sorts of Monarchies, Constitutional Monarchies and the sort.

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I can't think of any better way to show Cubans how poor a form of government that communism is, than to flood them with tons of middle class American tourists who will spend more in one week than most Cubans make in one year.
Ironically, the places that I've felt the most resentment in the world are where locals are poor or repressed.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Pretty sure that's not the first goal there. We are on friendly terms with all sorts of Monarchies, Constitutional Monarchies and the sort.



Ironically, the places that I've felt the most resentment in the world are where locals are poor or repressed.

There is no reason for Cuba to be poor. The same way there was no reason for citizens of the former USSR to be poor.

Back before the fall of the USSR, my brothers took a cruise on a Russian cruise ship after graduating from high school. It was ridiculously cheap, something like $250 for a week, (which both had saved from their after school jobs) . When my brother was talking to some of the crewmembers, he found they had all been told that only the very wealthiest Americans could take such a cruise and that the vast majority of Americans lived in poverty.

One of the places they went back then on that cruise was Cuba. One brother still goes to Cuba often on humanitarian missions. The poverty of the average Cuban citizen is much worse than anything we can imagine here. But, they are starting to realize it and more and more of them realize it is simply their system of government and the selfishness of Castro and his brother that is the cause.

There is a reason people are still risking their lives to leave Cuba. And, it is not because it is such a wonderful place to live. I don't think Americans visiting Cuba and interacting with the people there, can have anything but postive results, even though it is a little unsettling that the cheap prices American enjoy there, are born on the backs of the unfortunate.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

For what it is worth ...

We just spent great two weeks in Cuba and loved it. ( We do not live in the country that most of your live in so there were no legal issues.)

Super people, great SCUBA, did some fun sailing. And yes - we are going back for sure.

At the place we stayed for four days in Havana, a group of six "twenty something folks" arrived and stayed one night while we were there. They were from the country that most of you live. I asked them how they got there, there answer was "Through Toronto"

'nough said, I guess.

Our trip to Cuba
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

I truly wish that Minne would stop declaiming on Cuba, it gets tiresome having to constantly correct him. Example:
Quote:
I know its ridiculous, but they are allowing "cultural" tours, specifically and individually sanctioned by the Treasury dept to go and anyone can do this, if they have the money. However, getting one of those tours sanctioned is not easy, not frequent and it takes much more than a mom and pop travel agency to do it. i.e. The Smithsonian you referenced.
Completely and entirely wrong. I am currently working with two American women (i.e. a very small business) who did specialized Cuban tours licensed by the OFAC under the general license provisions (cultural, religious, sports, journalism, etc.). They recently received a 'person to person' license to conduct tours. Granted, it wasn't easy, but numerous travel agencies are now licensed to conduct these tours in Cuba. Any American wishing to pay the freight can go, just keep in mind these are not 'bar and beach' tours - you will have an itinerary and it will be a busy one. That's mandatory for these tours.
Anyhow, we hope to be able to offer sailing charters in Cuba, available to any American wishing to join us. The charter itinerary will offer a couple of days sailing out of Cienfuego, plus time in Havana, Marina Hemingway, Trinidad and/or Santiago doing the person to person thing. We also hope to be able to hook up with some Cuban dinghy sailors in Matanzas and perhaps have a small regatta with them there. Plans are far from final, but anyone interested can pm me.
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