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Yet another destination with less bureaucratic hoops to navigate, a good thing imo.
 

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Nothing has happened to change--even in the least little way--the legal issues for the average American who wants to visit Cuba. In my opinion, nothing will happen in that regard until, at the very least, after the next presidential election.

We are opening an embassy there, and allowing them to open an embassy here. The restrictions have been eased slightly for Cuban-Americans who want to send money to relatives who are still in Cuba. That is all. That is the sum total of the meaningful changes made today with Obama's announcement.

An economic embargo is still in place, and it is still illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba without getting prior permission from the State Department. Not really anything here to get too excited about. I wish there was more to it, but there just isn't.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Here is the portion of the White House announcement of the new regulations that apply to trave. I guess its not really a change but you won't have to jump through hoops for this -

"General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in the following existing categories: (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines."

And - you can use your credit card there.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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I for one, am damn excited that anything has occurred. My friends that have been there speak highly of the Cubans and their relations with US visitors, unlike some of the islands in the Caribbean. I won't retire for another 2 years and I can only hope it will be open and one of my first bucket list locations. One compared it to visiting the VI in the 70's. Hope to see you there...
 

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Captain Obvious
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Mark -

Most Americans would interpret CBP as Cuban Boat People.
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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Here is the portion of the White House announcement of the new regulations that apply to trave. I guess its not really a change but you won't have to jump through hoops for this -

"General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in the following existing categories: (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines."

And - you can use your credit card there.
#9 suits me fine. Coming up with a "project" should be no problem:)
 

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Seems so far this is only a loosening of the rules for corporations. No changes as far as the normal citizen would notice. Let the companies make money, but forget there being any actual changes. Personally I think if they actually opened the boarders it would be great for the Cuban citizens, but this will not change much for them.
 

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Captain Obvious
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I'm an architect and I wonder if I could just go study the spanish architecture there on my own. I guess people have been going on group tours that qualify them but the cost is about $2k per person. If I could do it on my own I could afford it.
 
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bell ringer
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Considering how many countries the US has fought wars with, but which we can still travel to, IT"S ABOUT FREAKING TIME TO GET OVER THIS CUBA THING!
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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An economic embargo is still in place, and it is still illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba without getting prior permission from the State Department. Not really anything here to get too excited about. I wish there was more to it, but there just isn't.
It is difficult to talk about this without ending up in PRWG.

Clearly the US Congress has to change a number of laws before there will be any realistic impact on US citizens, particularly cruisers.

This is a major policy shift for the United States that has a number of implications including the weight assessed to Cuban-Americans in South Florida on US national politics.

My Spanish isn't good, but I didn't see anything in Mr. Castro's speech to indicate that there would be any relief from current bureaucratic requirements to cruisers of any nationality along the Cuban coasts.

The imminence of US national elections make every policy and implementation change likely to be pushed and pulled by unrelated political motivations.

So what does that mean for cruisers? In my mind one of two near-term outcomes:

1. Congress (both houses) drag their feet and there will be no meaningful change. Enforcement may be reduced but visits by US citizens to Cuba will still effectively be illegal outside of fairly limited categories.

2. Congress (both houses) move forward in some truly creative way to find a way to change the laws without Democrats feeling they lose the moral high ground while allowing Republicans to show some degree of leadership moving relations forward.

Congress is going to have trouble not looking obstructionist to most of the country although early indications are looking, ah, slow.

Your guess is as good as mine, and discussions are best relegated to PRWG.

I do think this is a watershed moment and it is realistic for US cruisers to start thinking about Cuba in the foreseeable (but not immediate) future.

I do believe I'll drop a note to Nigel suggesting an update to his cruising guide might be well advised. *grin*

Here is the portion of the White House announcement of the new regulations that apply to trave. I guess its not really a change but you won't have to jump through hoops for this -

"General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in the following existing categories: (1) family visits; (2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; (3) journalistic activity; (4) professional research and professional meetings; (5) educational activities; (6) religious activities; (7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; (8) support for the Cuban people; (9) humanitarian projects; (10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; (11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and (12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines."
I think most people will find that many US and Cuban hoops will indeed have to be jumped through until a number of laws are changed.

In my opinion, I hope staying out of PRWG, we should reflect on what is as opposed to what we might think should be.
 

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I guess its not really a change but you won't have to jump through hoops for this...
You still have to apply to the State Department for a license--which means filling out forms, providing information, and justifying your visit based on one of their acceptable purposes--and then be granted that license. Sounds like "hoops" to me.

Again, today's announcement changes almost nothing in any practical sense. It is mostly symbolic, though I personally consider it some pretty important symbolism. Whether it will lead to any real, meaningful changes still remains to be seen, and is mostly up to Congress. We can only hope.
 

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Glad to hear it. However, it doesn't seem like we are going to be able to book our next bareboat there anytime soon.

I would be interested to see Cuba. It's pretty accessible, which is desirable. Behind that, I could spend a lifetime exploring and not run out of other places to see, so I'm not too worried about how long it takes.
 
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