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  #31  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Here's another bogey -
Quote:
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.
The Cuban people are, by and large, poor. However, to say they suffer terribly isn't entirely accurate. They are a very happy people, they are fed and housed by the state, and their health care, although not great, is also paid for.
As for wealth in Cuba - Raoul Castro has opened up opportunities for Cubans to start their own small businesses - in home restaurants, driving one of the ancient American cars as a cab, etc. These people are starting to realize that they can get ahead. Also, Cubans working in tourism do well from tips, etc., and many highly educated Cubans - lawyers, teachers, etc., opt to work in tourism for that reason.
Finally, Cubans with American family often receive money and goods from their families, allowing them to live better than the average Cuban. While these three groups do not approach the wealth of the Castro brothers - who live in immense estates just a short distance from Marina Hemingway - in my opinion, the changes in levels of wealth amongst average Cubans will, in the long run, be the death of the Communist system there.
Will that change Cuba in other ways? Not necessarily - take a look at China, which has opted for capitalism while continuing rigid state control of everything else. That seems to be the way Raoul is taking Cuba. Time will tell.
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  #32  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
I truly wish that Minne would stop declaiming on Cuba, it gets tiresome having to constantly correct him.
That's certainly the pot calling the kettle black. You were once encouraging the fake foriegn sponsorship scam in an early contribution here. I'm glad you've changed your approach and are applying for a license. I posted the actual link to the US rules on Cuba.

Quote:
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.
I'll stand corrected that it takes a large organization.

Quote:
Granted, it wasn't easy.......
Although, this was actually my point, not the specificity of the organization.

----------

You certainly know by now, as we've crossed swords on this many time, that I'm entirely fine with legal visits to Cuba, for those inclined. What ticks me off are those that encourage the foreign port of departure or sponsorship scams.
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  #33  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
You were once encouraging the fake foriegn sponsorship scam
I've never encouraged it. I've noted that people do use it, and that it has drawbacks, such as convincing the OFAC that it's legit.
As for the rules, even the CBP doesn't enforce them, or enforces them haphazardly and without proper knowledge. I've seen this happen more than once, and with people from various countries as well as myself. There is NO coherent policy vis a vis cruisers going to or coming from, Cuba.
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  #34  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
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.
If you really want to go, by far the best way would be as a crew on someone else's boat - preferably Canadian, or other non-US registry... Have the owner pay any and all expenses involved, have him "host" you in exchange for your help as crew or whatever, and settle up with him afterwards, if need be... There is no prohibition on non-licensed Americans traveling to Cuba, but only upon spending money while there, and such a strategy legitimately gets you around that... It would seem to me that the likelihood of the State Department/OFAC coming after you in such a situation would have to be miniscule, to virtually non-existent, today...

Everything changes for an American taking their own boat, of course... Then, it's a given you have to spend $ for visas and clearance/departure fees, etc. Again, one can attempt to circumvent that by having a foreign national 'guest' aboard who can pay all expenses, but that could be considerably harder to prove to OFAC if they had an inclination to come after you...

Most importantly, be under no illusion that one might escape the prying eyes of our government by coming or leaving though a 3rd country... It's very naive to think that by returning to the States via the Bahamas, for example, that you'll avoid 'detection'... Trust me, any American who takes their boat to Cuba, our government WILL know about it... However, if you were simply a crew on someone else's boat, it would seem that there would be a decent probability that our State Department might never learn of it... Still, that might be hopelessly naive, and I certainly don't want anyone to take anything I've written on the subject to be construed as any sort of advice, or recommendation...

Whether they actually CARE, of course, is the $64K question... All indications over recent years is that they don't, for there have been a LOT of American boats visiting Cuba, far more than most here would probably imagine...

In previous threads, I've written a fair amount about my own 3 separate trips to Cuba with my boat, 10 years ago... This one is probably the most comprehensive...

Cuba in my sights


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  #35  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
Here's another bogey -
The Cuban people are, by and large, poor. However, to say they suffer terribly isn't entirely accurate. They are a very happy people, they are fed and housed by the state, and their health care, although not great, is also paid for.
As for wealth in Cuba - Raoul Castro has opened up opportunities for Cubans to start their own small businesses - in home restaurants, driving one of the ancient American cars as a cab, etc. These people are starting to realize that they can get ahead. Also, Cubans working in tourism do well from tips, etc., and many highly educated Cubans - lawyers, teachers, etc., opt to work in tourism for that reason.
Finally, Cubans with American family often receive money and goods from their families, allowing them to live better than the average Cuban. While these three groups do not approach the wealth of the Castro brothers - who live in immense estates just a short distance from Marina Hemingway - in my opinion, the changes in levels of wealth amongst average Cubans will, in the long run, be the death of the Communist system there.
Will that change Cuba in other ways? Not necessarily - take a look at China, which has opted for capitalism while continuing rigid state control of everything else. That seems to be the way Raoul is taking Cuba. Time will tell.
Quoted from the old Pravda?

"they are fed and housed by the state"

The last trip my brother took down there, he stayed in the house of one of the Cubans. There were no windows in the house, and they only had electricity for a few hours a day. But, they couldn't use it because all of their outlets were burned out and they couldn't get any more. For a bus to take kids to church, they were using an old dump truck that the kids would ride in. It didn't even have working headlights. Almost no one had a working car. The whole yard was fenced to raise pigs to eat and he said the smell was unbelievable most of the time.

The last night he was there, he stayed in a hotel, that although run down, was much nicer than where he had been staying. There, he met dozens of foreigners, who were staying there and going to the beaches, who were sure they were seeing the real Cuba.
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  #36  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Quoted from the old Pravda?
I didn't say it was a paradise, and how you see something depends largely on one's attitude. The Cubans don't necessarily see how they live as suffering. That's not to say they wouldn't want better than they have - of course they do, but since everyone they know is in the same circumstance, it's not as bad as it might be.
Things like non working headlights, burned out outlets, etc. are only suffering for those who have know better, i.e. those in first world countries.
You make the common mistake of applying your personal sensibilities to a situation in which they do not apply.
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  #37  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

canuck, if Americans on a legitimate cultural (etc) visit have such busy agendas set up that they have to comply with, how are you going to justify sailing charters, which are in essence a day booked full of idle time, on the same basis?

And I note that your plans are still pending, not approved, so there is no guarantee that the US will agree with you and approve them at all. You also speak of the two women you're working with as having had trips, in the past tense, which begs to ask why they stopped or were stopped.

Cuba may be a people's paradise, but somehow, someone keeps generating enough desparation that they keep launching rafts hoping to reach America. Or perhaps you think the Marielista exodus was also just Fidel throwing out the trash, and that America got totally conned on that one too?

Would the Cubans let you sponsor tours of America? What would you charge, two pigs and a chicken?
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  #38  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

bit of passive aggressive there, hellosailor? Ok - to answer you.
There will be a marine biologist on board the boat, plus we have the interactions at the docks, and with fishermen. We expect that to fulfill the cultural aspect on the sailing days, but yes, it has to be approved yet.
The women still operate trips - no past tense about it. The new person to person license is a new development for them. No need to attempt to infer anything out of line there, which the tone of your question implies.
I won't trouble to answer the questions in your last two paragraphs. You're simply looking for an argument based on your ideological preferences and this isn't the forum for that, is it?
As I noted before, for those who are interested in sailing in Cuba - this will be an entirely legal way to do it, and to discover for yourself the truths about this fascinating country.
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  #39  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
If you really want to go,................

In previous threads, I've written a fair amount about my own 3 separate trips to Cuba with my boat, 10 years ago... This one is probably the most comprehensive...

Cuba in my sights
Coool !!! Good advice and make sense.

Thanks for the link. Good read.
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  #40  
Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

canuck, you are the one who said your hope was to offer "sailing charters" in Cuba. Now you are saying there will be a marine biologist aboard the boat. So, what? you're turning a sailing charter into a marine research expedition? Making it into an educational experience? That's a different pitch. (Or the Doc Ford cover story.) Whether it works or not, it is not the simple "sailing charter" you proposed. Are nature tours or nature hikes in the forest approved as a legitimate educational trip for Americans?

You may not think politics or history are relevant here, but politics is the only reason there's any question about whether US military aircraft, or civilians, can enter Cuban territory. That's what it all comes back to.
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