What you need to know about legal travel to Cuba
US Travel Regulations - June 5th, 2019
After much anticipation the new policy on Cuban travel for Americans was announced and went into action on June 5th, 2019.
The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made amendments to the existing policy to limit travel to Cuba by American Citizens. The Cuban travel policy has been changed countless times over the last 50 years and under President Obama was drastically amended to increase the ability to travel to Cuba.
Obama Era Policies
There were 12 categories of travel that were eligible to use and the two most common were “People-to-People” and “Support for the Cuban People” both categories had a focus on providing direct access and support to Cuban individuals and NGO’s.
The rhetoric for having these policies in the first place was to try and drive money away from the Cuban Government for their human rights violations against the Cuban people. Part of the greater sanctions and embargo that has been in place since the late 50s. President Obama realized this policy was outdated and the people who were truly suffering were the Cuban community. The people that the policy was supposed to be protecting. He made some radical changes to open travel and Cuba saw a huge wave of American travelers, with historic numbers and a glimpse at what open travel could be like. This included major airlines providing direct flights and several cruise ships arriving weekly.
The local economy flourished and the emerging private sector had its chance and the Cuban people jumped on it, opening new restaurants, bars, cafes, art galleries and Casa particular's. There was such an amazing energy and the interaction between the locals and their long awaited neighbors was and continues to be heartwarming.
Current administration policies
Under the current administration we have seen a return to old rhetoric and policies that began to restrict open travel. This included the November, 2017 policy to eliminate individual “People-to-People” travel and added a list of restricted businesses that Americans could not support.
This new policy goes further and restricts all “People-to-People” travel and ends recreational vessels to land in Cuba including cruise ships and private crafts. This does not eliminate all travel to Cuba. There are still 11 categories of travel including "Support for the Cuban People"
Hastacuba - Support for the Cuban People
Hastacuba has been using since its foundation. We have been working under this category not because we have to but because we are fully committed to working closely with Cuban individuals and drive all of our energy and support to the Cubans that are doing all the can to share and improve their beautiful country.
All of our Hastacuba Programs were developed to provide our clients with direct contact with the emerging private sector in Cuba in accordance with the OFAC regulation CFR § 515.574. This general license authorizes, subject to conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are intended to provide support for the Cuban people, which include activities of individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. This general license requires that each traveler utilizing this authorization engage in a full-time schedule of activities that enhance contact with Cuban people, and support Cuban Society.
We want you to be a part of the positive change and help us continue to Support the Cuban People.
For any questions feel free to call or send me an email.
Co-Founder of Hastacuba
We hope this helps! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out and we will promptly respond.