TRAVEL TO CUBA STILL LEGAL IN 2019
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
LEGAL TRAVEL TO CUBA FROM UNITED STATES
Though new regulations limiting travel from the United States to Cuba were announced on June 5th, 2019, Americans may still legally travel to Cuba in 2019. The new regulations eliminate cruise ship travel and the most commonly used and abused “People-to-People” category of travel. The new regulations include restrictions on sending money to Cubans, but only the “People-to-People” category is affected by the new regulations. The broad category “support for the Cuban people” is still available and is the most used by travelers visit Cuba from the U.S. Direct flights from eight U.S. airports travel to Cuba every day, and yes, it’s still legal for Americans to bring Cuban cigars into the U.S. The principal difference between the former regulations and the changes enacted by the Trump administration in June 2019 is the prohibition on organized people-to-people travel to Cuba which fell under the educational category of the twelve authorized categories of travel to Cuba. Americans may still travel under any of the other eleven categories which include religion, sports, to attend performances and competitions, family visits, etc. The other eleven categories of authorized travel to Cuba remain unchanged.
SUPPORT FOR THE CUBAN PEOPLE
The idea of isolating Cuba by making it difficult for Americans to visit the island is counterproductive. While money from U.S. travelers who visit the island does make it into the hands of communist government officials, the goodwill that American travelers foster on the island has much more impact. The policy of isolating Cuba also provides the Cuban government with an excuse for its failings. President Obama’s visit to the island in March 2016 was a huge failure in the eyes of Cuba’s elderly rulers, since the leader of the imperial power which they have spent sixty years vilifying was received by large crowds of adoring Cubans, while they themselves are not received by happy crowds.It is much better for Americans to visit Cuba and let the Cubans judge us for themselves, than to isolate the island from Americans. Keep the Cuban military hotels and businesses off-limits to visiting Americans but let us travel freely to the island. The “Support for the Cuban People” travel category still exists and is the easiest way for Americans to visit our island neighbor. To travel under the “support for the Cuban people” category you must stay at a bed and breakfast and plan an itinerary that includes interactions with independent Cubans who are not Cuban government representatives. Keep records photos and records of your trip for five years, that’s it! Contact us to help us plan you trip to Cuba.
See you in Havana!
By Frank Gonzalez
June 16, 2019
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