CAN AMERICANS TRAVEL TO CUBA?
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
HOW CAN AMERICANS TRAVEL TO CUBA?
This is a question we are being asked quite often lately and hopefully this will clarify something that is much simpler than it appears. First off there are direct commercial flights by to Cuba, by five U.S. airlines, American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta, Southwest, and United all have direct flights to Havana. These flights depart from nine U.S. airports, Boston, Newark Liberty, New York JFK, Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. You can purchase a ticket on any of their flights and they will ask you which of the twelve “legal Cuba travel” categories you are traveling under. Now for the slightly more complicated part.
LEGAL TRAVEL TO CUBA FOR AMERICANS UNDER ONE OF TWELVE CATEGORIES
The Department of Treasury regulates travel to Cuba by Americans, and over the past ten years its regulations have been eased by President Obama and then tightened under President Trump. But even with President Trump’s tightening, it is still much easier to travel to Cuba today than it was before 2009. Legal travel to Cuba by Americans is authorized under one of twelve categories, the most commonly used of the twelve is Family Visit, but that only applies to Americans who have family in Cuba. The three most used by Americans to travel to Cuba after Family Visits are, Support for the Cuban People, Religious, and Public Performances.
SUPPORT FOR THE CUBAN PEOPLE
The most commonly used of those three is Support for the Cuban People, which allows travel that supports independent Cuban society, and visiting and interacting with Cubans who are not part of the communist government, such as private business owners, organizations that support political change in Cuba, and human rights organizations. Staying at a family run bed and breakfast, meeting with diverse Cubans who are not affiliated with the government and eating at privately run restaurants are activities which are considered to be in “Support of the Cuban People.” Cuba Travel Trips offers two tours that fall under the religious category, an Afro-Cuban Religion Tour, and Cuba’s Jewish Heritage Tour. Both available for four to ten days. In January we offer a Havana Jazz Festival Tour that is legal under the Public Performances category. The remainder of our tours are Support of the Cuban People, and these can be customized to include tours and workshops from our other tours.
HELPFUL LINKS FOR LEGAL CUBA TRAVEL BY AMERICANS
Here are a couple of informative links about legal travel to Cuba by Americans, the first is for a New York Times article from September 2019, and the second the Code of Federal Regulations regulating travel to Cuba by Americans;
We will update this blog every few months so you can be up to date on the latest changes regarding legal Cuba travel by Americans. This initial blog is from November 25, 2019.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
By Frank Gonzalez