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po
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Discussion Starter #1
Sailing from Miami to Cuba in December, but cannot get a tourist visa for Cuba. Cuban embassy in Canberra won't help as I'm not travelling directly from Australia. Cuban embassy in Washington say it's illegal to issue a tourist visa for Cuba since Trump.
Any ideas??
We have alternate destinations but would love to visit Cuba

Poetalan
 

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First, I'm no fan of the guy personally, but the current US President is not the one that put restrictions on US citizen travel to Cuba.

Second, something isnt adding up. I've lost count of the US citizens I know that have first gone to Canada or Mexico and then flew to Cuba. I don't once recall hearing of waiting to organize a visa. I'm sure you need some official document, but I would swear it is instant issue for a fee. I have this recollection that to enter Cuba, you must have health insurance that covers you in Cuba. You buy it in customs, on the spot, if you don't. Check around online. There has to be a way to obtain what you need online, if you're not a US citizen.

However, if you are a US citizen, departing from the US, that will be very difficult to do legally. Has been for about 50 years now.
 
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I'm confused, are you a Yank or an Aussie?
 

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With Sydney and Canberra listed he probably eats vegemite...'stralia/QUOTE]
Yeah, I did see that but perhaps they bought the boat down under and sailed her here? I don't understand why the Aussie Embassy can't issue Cuban visas to their citizens in DC. I didn't think our embargo involved them. It certainly doesn't seem to matter to the Canadians.
 

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I'm guessing that he was given and/or received bad info.
That country wants your $s.

I'm very interested in Cuba. Reads like the read deal...along with some hoops and hurdles, naturally.
I'm most interested in the southern coast, and not sure where to get the most current charts.
Navionics is doing a webinar on Cuba (never done/attended one before) 11/15/17.
I'm guessing much of the north coast took a big Maria hit.
 

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al brazzi
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Like Minnie not a fan, I think he knows its the right time but he's delaying for personnel gain. Let us know how it turns out I would like to do this soon.
 

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po
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Discussion Starter #9
The embassies in Canberra & Washington have not been helpful. They just send thru some pdf telling me what I already know. Makes me think they didn't bother to read the email.
 

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I'm guessing that he was given and/or received bad info.
That country wants your $s.

I'm very interested in Cuba. Reads like the read deal...along with some hoops and hurdles, naturally.
I'm most interested in the southern coast, and not sure where to get the most current charts.
Navionics is doing a webinar on Cuba (never done/attended one before) 11/15/17.
I'm guessing much of the north coast took a big Maria hit.
From what I've been told by those who have been there over the last 3 or 4 years, one is not free to go where one wishes, Canadian, American or Australian. There are approved marinas and at times certain bays where one may anchor, but I don't think the south coast is open to sailing yachts.
Not having been there I can't say for sure, but the stories of the restrictions have prevented us from venturing that way. However, the feeling about Cuba from those I've met who have been there is generally favorable.
 

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Noonsite has some interesting updated info on visiting Cuba. 24 hr notice, prior to moving between anchorages within Cuba. It suggests there is a 30-90 day travel card that is issued upon arrival. Not sure a visa in advance is required. I did not study this closely.

While the relationship between Cuba and the US is very complicated, I personally choose to follow the rules and will not visit unless legal to do so. I think the biggest attraction for many US citizen, is simply that it's forbidden. As for having to notify authorities 24 hrs in advance of moving between anchorages, I'll pass, even though they are far from the only country with such restrictions. There are countless beautiful places in the world. I'll wait for it to be more inviting. If it never is, I'll keep it on the list of most places I'll never see. No problem.
 

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Maybe try and get in touch with the Canadian Embassy in Havana. I wouldn't be surprised if they would help out an Australian or New Zealander.

As far as visiting Cuba goes, I think it's fantastic I go from time to time by air and it is a totally different vibe than other Carribean islands I have been to.

The tourism industry is catered to Canadians and Russians, so it just has a different vibe.

I have never sailed anything bigger than a beach cat there, but touring around in a motorcycle or 4x4 is pretty straight forward.

Cuba is safe to.
 

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Captain Obvious
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It was legal to visit for professional reasons, for example the American Institute of Architects held a conference there last year. Is that now changed? If so, it is new.
 

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The weird travel exceptions (tourism has always remained technically restricted), such as education, people to people, etc, are all still in place. Trump required they be done in authorized groups, not as individuals. Most already were. It was just more silly gamesmanship that every administration, since Kennedy, has done with this deal. He claimed they were going to more strictly enforce the rules too, but something tells me that's just talk to make anti-Cuban Americans feel better. Flights still going between the countries and the Marriott is still managing their new hotel, as best I know.

Here's how odd this has always been. US citizens are not technically banned from setting foot in Cuba. We are banned from spending money there, due to the embargo, and both State and Justice have clarified that someone paying your way doesn't get you out of it. Cuba is still receiving money, because you are there. These eased restrictions actually allow you to spend money on those exempt purposes.
 

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If you care, the real problem with visiting Cuba is that you enrich the Castro brothers, even though one is no longer breathing. I am not surprised that there are restrictions on movement as all Communist utopias have to hide reality behind a curtain. If your embassy won't help you the problem does not lie with the American President despite the hate illustrated daily by those who worship at the altar of government control of all things.
 

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Yo no soy marinero.....
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First a little clarity. The only restriction to and through Cuba is applied to American citizens by the American administration. Though Americans have recently been granted permission to travel to Cuba they do not have unlimited access. (Number of days and itinerary need approval by the America administration) The Cuban government never banned American tourists travel to Cuba. It is a misconception that citizens of any other country were not permitted to travel to Cuba.

Cuban visa is granted by customs at the point of entry. Foreign traveler medical insurance is mandatory - show up without it and you may be turned away.

One of the problems with sailing to Cuba is infrastructure. After over 50 years of economic embargo, and the loss of Soviet support when the USSR collapsed, Cuban infrastructure is either in sad disrepair or non-existent. There are marinas in Havana and along the Hicacos Peninsula (Varadero) but they serve local needs and the tourist trade for day cruises. I have seen private boats sporting American and Canadian flags at dock, but they are likely not set up for the needs of large numbers of tourist vessels.

Sure hope this helps a bit, cheers & feliz!
 

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In reality, Cuba NEVER really had much of an infrastructure. When I was there in the mid to late 1950s, most of the roads outside Havana were dirt trails that were barely passable in the dry season. When it rained, they became a quagmire and the only way to reach some of the remote towns was via boat or muleback.

Most of this did not change when the Russians supported Fidel. Their support amounted to next to nothing, other than money they funneled into the Castro regime and the few jobs created outside the military to support the missile bases. When the missiles left, so did the money.

I was in Havana before Castro, it was a wide open town, gambling, prostitution, etc... - just like Chicago back in the 30s. The only thing missing was Al Capone. ;) (He may have been lurking in the shadows, though.)

The biggest employer in Cuba during the 1950s was the US Navy at Guantanamo Bay Naval Center. Every morning, a huge line of folks from nearby Havana and some of the surrounding towns entered the base via the main gate. Most have menial jobs, serving food, cleaning, gardening, maintenance of sorts, but they all made more money in a single week back then than they do in six months today.

Back then, many Cubans that worked on the base, also had jobs in Havana restaurants, casinos, grocery stores, and quaint shops around town, many of which I visited when I was there. It was neat to see all the handmade, wooden carvings and statuary, one of which was made of black ebony that I purchased and still have in my livingroom today.

I never saw the mystique with Cuban cigars, but I never really enjoyed cigars to begin with. I have a friend that participated in the Mureal Boat Lift, damned near lost 75-foot charter fishing boat to the Cuban government, spent a week in a Cuban prison just for being there. He got out with the boat and the shirt on his back - lucky to be alive I guess. He said he never witnessed such cruelty to others and abject poverty that existed at that time.

I really have no desire to return to Cuba, even if it turns into a vacation resort. There are lots and lots of fascinating islands in that part of the world, islands that we can explore and learn about the local cuisine and culture. I guess some folks feel that they must test the forbidden fruit by visiting Cuba, but I'm not among them.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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I just visited Cuba...after the Maria but apparently also after repairs because there were few signs of the damage. They have roads everywhere and quite frankly their signaling system is a bit more advanced than ours. Yes, that's right. More advanced and this is coming from someone who has been to nearly every major city in the US. They have seconds counting down the green and red signals. I was also surprised how fast everything was fixed up after the hurricane.

I flew into Havana and the VISA is bought on arrival. It may be confusing selecting what your purpose is for visiting but it seems that for most people to people works best. One thing I didn't like was that food and certain other things were more expensive than I expected. I will likely avoid Havana and go to the outer cities and towns next time. Besides I would prefer to investigate any harbors and customs rules before I decide to travel there by boat. Also see how they are managed and so forth and any anchoring rules.

From what pictures I have seen so far there don't seem to be many marinas for yachts outside of Havana. Didn't see any boats for pleasure either but I'll obviously need to look further into that.

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......More advanced and this is coming from someone who has been to nearly every major city in the US. They have seconds counting down the green and red signals.
I don't know about that being advanced. Exactly what does that information do that the US signal doesn't allow? Maybe everyone in Cuba suffers from anxiety disorder and can't handle the abrupt change to green, or yellow isn't clear enough. :)

I flew into Havana and the VISA is bought on arrival.
Frequently, rules like that apply to citizen of specified countries. I don't think the OP has made their passport issuing country known.
 

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First a little clarity. The only restriction to and through Cuba is applied to American citizens by the American administration. Though Americans have recently been granted permission to travel to Cuba they do not have unlimited access.
If we're talking clarity, there is more substance to this. US citizens are not restricted to travel, they are restricted from spending money in Cuba. The Cuban tourism infrastructure is dominantly owned by the military, a concept that is hard to imagine for those that live in capitalistic democracies. The US has put an embargo on it's citizens spending money on the Cuban military's profit center.

The embargo isn't going away any time soon. As recently as last year, Cuba was caught trying to smuggle military supplies into North Korea. This was a violation of International Law, not just US. It's actually weird that other countries, who are also party to that international embargo of North Korea, don't seem to mind supporting the Cuban military.

It is a misconception that citizens of any other country were not permitted to travel to Cuba.
I'm not seeing this misconception, nevertheless, Cuba does have strict immigration policies, just like the US and Canada. One still has to comply with their rules, in order to travel there. I believe Cuba does ban some countries, but oddly enough, the US isn't one of them.

Cuban visa is granted by customs at the point of entry.
I think this is a factor of which country issued your passport. I think it does apply to US citizens.

Foreign traveler medical insurance is mandatory - show up without it and you may be turned away.
I have heard this too, but I've also heard they make you pay for a short term policy upon arrival, if you don't have it. This is one policy I think the US should adopt. Especially, if the immigrant is pregnant. It's literally an industry in the US to fly here and deliver your baby in a hospital and leave. Your flight is less expensive than medical care at home, you never pay the US hospital and your baby is now a US citizen. It's mind boggling that this hasn't been stopped.
 
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