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  1. #483
    Quote Originally Posted by House  [View Original Post]
    Can anyone give me the scoop on the health insurance requirement for entering Cuba? If I have to purchase it there, what is the cost?
    If I remember correctly, it's no more than $10 per day. They got me for it in January. But I've heard of other people never being asked.

    No big deal either way.

  2. #482

    Health Insurance

    Can anyone give me the scoop on the health insurance requirement for entering Cuba? If I have to purchase it there, what is the cost?

  3. #481
    And I agree with you. But, that is an issue of ignorance. I can tell you that 80% of the time I re-enter every month the folks at the border have no idea what the law is. Remember, they are border patro, not OFAC. They know very little about the travel restrictions. For that matter. 99. 9 percent of Americans do not even know Cuba even exists. Have you ever gone into a travel agency in the USA and seen Cuba as a travel destination option? Out of sight, out of mind. Most of these folks at the border bring their own bias, their own prejudice and their own notions about Cuba. They have never been, so they think it a dreadful horrible place where Cubans are suffering daily, poor and hungry. If you have traveled the world, then you know Cuban poverty does not equate to Mexican, or Hatian or Dominican poverty. The inconvenience of their ignorance is just something we have to deal with at times. The worst they will do, if you have cigars and rum, is take it. In the past I used to argue with these folks, now I am just the most polite person when I tell them I was in Cuba. They like feeling powerful, respected and in control. They then send you on your way. As for being reported to OFAC, I have been reported, for an unjustifiable reason at that. So have friends of mine. Guess what happens? Nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebel  [View Original Post]
    Kalifornication,

    I am with you on this. It is nothing to be paranoid about. However, it is naive to think there is no risk involved. A friend of mine that traveled with me to Cuba in 2012 was given a lot of hard time at Otay border crossing. He denied going to Cuba but he was made to go back to Mexico and leave everything he brought from Cuba there. They didn't report him to OFAC but the experience wasn't pleasant. Specially for me who had to wait for him for an hour to get out of the building.

    Cheers!

  4. #480
    Kalifornication,

    I am with you on this. It is nothing to be paranoid about. However, it is naive to think there is no risk involved. A friend of mine that traveled with me to Cuba in 2012 was given a lot of hard time at Otay border crossing. He denied going to Cuba but he was made to go back to Mexico and leave everything he brought from Cuba there. They didn't report him to OFAC but the experience wasn't pleasant. Specially for me who had to wait for him for an hour to get out of the building.

    Cheers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalifornication  [View Original Post]
    Stop being so paranoid. The US Govt. Could care less about your travels to Cuba. Do not bring back rum or cigars. I am in Cuba every month and every time I cross the border I tell them I was in Cuba. They ask if I have rum or cigars, I say no, and I am on my way. Really, do you think the "land of the free" wants a reputation of restricting travel for its citizens? Of course not. Bad policy bad publicity. They do not mind the perpetuation of the idea that it is illegal or that you will get into trouble, yea they like that. When I was a child, I was afraid of the monster under my bed too, but then I grew up.

    The Cuban Assets Control Regulations of the USA Treasury Department require that persons subject to USA jurisdiction be licensed to engage in any transaction related to travel to, from and within Cuba.

    Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico, Canada or any other country in the world.

    The Regulation is not that the Americans or people with permanent residence in the USA cannot travel to Cuba, the regulation says that the USA residendts CANNOT SPEND MONEY IN CUBA. Imagine your jenitera paid for your travel flight, food, beer and rum in Cuba, you would be perfectly legal.

  5. #479
    Stop being so paranoid. The US Govt. Could care less about your travels to Cuba. Do not bring back rum or cigars. I am in Cuba every month and every time I cross the border I tell them I was in Cuba. They ask if I have rum or cigars, I say no, and I am on my way. Really, do you think the "land of the free" wants a reputation of restricting travel for its citizens? Of course not. Bad policy bad publicity. They do not mind the perpetuation of the idea that it is illegal or that you will get into trouble, yea they like that. When I was a child, I was afraid of the monster under my bed too, but then I grew up.

    The Cuban Assets Control Regulations of the USA Treasury Department require that persons subject to USA jurisdiction be licensed to engage in any transaction related to travel to, from and within Cuba.

    Transactions related to tourist travel are not licensable. This restriction includes tourist travel to Cuba from or through a third country such as Mexico, Canada or any other country in the world.

    The Regulation is not that the Americans or people with permanent residence in the USA cannot travel to Cuba, the regulation says that the USA residendts CANNOT SPEND MONEY IN CUBA. Imagine your jenitera paid for your travel flight, food, beer and rum in Cuba, you would be perfectly legal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zebel  [View Original Post]
    I am not sure Global Entry is a good idea. With Global Entry your itinerary is tied to your passport. So, very likely they will know what countries you visited in your trip. I am a Global Entry / Sentri holder and I traveled to Cuba twice thru Mexico. One time when I was walking back to San Diego after coming back from Cuba the immigration officer asked me if I left Mexico during my trip, of course my answer was no, then he flat out asked me if I went to Cuba. I was shocked but kept it cool and said no. He just let me go but he could have sent me to secondary and the shit could have hit the fan. I have been told that the officers have been told not to give hard time to people that come back from Cuba, something like an internal memo. The Obama administration doesn't want to prosecute / fine people for visiting Cuba. The Bush era was completely different thou.

    I think one way to avoid this dilemma is to fly to Havana from Panama or another country besides Mexico and Canada. I have read somewhere that Canada, US and Mexico share the flights manifest in one database. So it is easy access for government. Another way, which may not be as safe, is to divide your trip to two reservation so your entire travel is not under one booking reference number.

    I can give you reference for what I wrote, except my personal experience. Do your own research and then decide.

    Good luck and enjoy Cuba! A country well worth the visit, even with the travel hassle.

  6. #478
    I am not sure Global Entry is a good idea. With Global Entry your itinerary is tied to your passport. So, very likely they will know what countries you visited in your trip. I am a Global Entry / Sentri holder and I traveled to Cuba twice thru Mexico. One time when I was walking back to San Diego after coming back from Cuba the immigration officer asked me if I left Mexico during my trip, of course my answer was no, then he flat out asked me if I went to Cuba. I was shocked but kept it cool and said no. He just let me go but he could have sent me to secondary and the shit could have hit the fan. I have been told that the officers have been told not to give hard time to people that come back from Cuba, something like an internal memo. The Obama administration doesn't want to prosecute / fine people for visiting Cuba. The Bush era was completely different thou.

    I think one way to avoid this dilemma is to fly to Havana from Panama or another country besides Mexico and Canada. I have read somewhere that Canada, US and Mexico share the flights manifest in one database. So it is easy access for government. Another way, which may not be as safe, is to divide your trip to two reservation so your entire travel is not under one booking reference number.

    I can give you reference for what I wrote, except my personal experience. Do your own research and then decide.

    Good luck and enjoy Cuba! A country well worth the visit, even with the travel hassle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manny51  [View Original Post]
    Also, my advice would be to look into Global Entry before you go. The danger is when you come back in, and as you stated, being pulled aside to explain two Canadian entry stamps. With Global Entry, no one leafs through your passport.

  7. #477
    My prediction, no impact if you are, as they say in Cuba,"American American" (I. E, American born).

    Why? I have never traveled directly from the USA to CUba. Not because I am not permitted to do so, but because it is too expensive. I suspect that those needing the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC are not "American American". They are, more likely, new immigrants from Cuba who either left legally or illegally and are seeking authorization to re-enter Cuba. They are also likely old Miami Cubans who were born in Cuba. As we all know, Cuba welcomes "American Americans" perhaps for the same reasons the USA welcomes those Cubans who risk their lives at sea to touch American soil and, ipso facto, gain immediate legal rights to reside within the USA. In short Political bullshit. Cuba does not want to punish the brave American that thumbs his or her nose up at the American so called travel restriction. In fact its a money restriction, not a travel restriction.

    Your fine you American Bunny Rabbit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smokers Rule  [View Original Post]
    So I saw this link recently:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affa...s-travel-visas

    Any idea how this would hypothetically affect one's ability to hypothetically sneak into Cuba if one were to hypothetically be an American?

  8. #476

    US Stops Travel Visas

    So I saw this link recently:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affa...s-travel-visas

    Any idea how this would hypothetically affect one's ability to hypothetically sneak into Cuba if one were to hypothetically be an American?

  9. #475

    Cell phone

    Does it pay to buy a Cuban SIM card?

    I read on LP that it costs 30cuc to activate.

    How long are they good for- I'm wondering if it'll still be good on future trips.

    Are there other options? I'll be in Varadero then Havana, BTW.

    Thanks!

  10. #474

    Thanks Manny

    I'm sure I'm "over-fretting".

    Surely I won't have any receipts or Cuban merch with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manny51  [View Original Post]
    When I went to Cuba, I went legally. There are several exceptions by which Americans can go legally, and I took advantage. But I had previously researched going illegally.

    People generally advised flying from Cancun or Nassau, a more tourist trafficked airport. Also, my advice would be to look into Global Entry before you go. The danger is when you come back in, and as you stated, being pulled aside to explain two Canadian entry stamps. With Global Entry, no one leafs through your passport.

    Also, to clarify, it is not illegal to GO to Cuba. It is illegal to spend money in Cuba or patronize any Cuba owned business. Its an economic sanction, not a travel restriction.

  11. #473
    Quote Originally Posted by Lmarcone  [View Original Post]
    I am an American planning on visiting Cuba through Montreal.

    So, I'll return to the states with two Canadian entry stamps!

    This has been discussed before but please, can someone reiterate that I shouldn't worry about it / personal experience?

    Thank you!
    When I went to Cuba, I went legally. There are several exceptions by which Americans can go legally, and I took advantage. But I had previously researched going illegally.

    People generally advised flying from Cancun or Nassau, a more tourist trafficked airport. Also, my advice would be to look into Global Entry before you go. The danger is when you come back in, and as you stated, being pulled aside to explain two Canadian entry stamps. With Global Entry, no one leafs through your passport.

    Also, to clarify, it is not illegal to GO to Cuba. It is illegal to spend money in Cuba or patronize any Cuba owned business. Its an economic sanction, not a travel restriction.

  12. #472

    Just realized.

    I am an American planning on visiting Cuba through Montreal.

    So, I'll return to the states with two Canadian entry stamps!

    This has been discussed before but please, can someone reiterate that I shouldn't worry about it / personal experience?

    Thank you!

  13. #471

    RE: First timer

    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeForMe  [View Original Post]
    Flying to Havana from Cancun and I'm wondering if I should purchase the ticket when I land in Cancun or should I go thru a Canadian travel agent? I'm wondering if the price of the flight will be higher once I'm in Cancun or if it will be the same if I had bought ahead of time thru the Canadian travel agent.

    ShakeForMe
    Buy the flight to Havana in advance from the Canadian travel agency you have in mind. Jan- Feb is peak travel time so there is a very good chance of the flights selling out.

  14. #470
    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeForMe  [View Original Post]
    :

    Flying to Havana from Cancun
    You can certainly buy the tickets from Cancun, they would be cheaper as compared to buying from a Canadian travel agency. The concern more than price is whether there will be seats. Keep in mind the flights from Cancun are not big planes, so if there is an event then the flight can get sold out. When I took the plane, there were only two other tourists, the rest of the plane was sold out to the Cuban under 16 baseball team. So you might want to call the travel agencies in Cancun, and book your ticket from them and send them money by western union.

    The visa is sold by the airline you are going to take, so no worries on that.

    The health insurance is a funny thing. No one ever asked me whether I had bought health insurance the first time I went. So the next times, I simply scanned and edited my insurance documents, put the dates of travel and printed and took it with me. No one asked me again.

    If you do not have one and if immigration asks you, then you can always buy it from the asitur insurance which has a booth in havana airport, and when I asked the girl she said it is about 3 or 4 cuc a day, I do not remember exact amount but it was less than 5cuc a day.

    So, upto you to decide whether you want to buy or not.

  15. #469

    First timer to Cuba

    I've planned my first trip to Cuba (Jan. 22-25; 25th-feb. 4th in Cancun) and am waiting with building anticipation! Love me some big assed, passionate Cubanas! This site is a treasure trove of info for the noob international monger, I'm truly appreciative gentlemen. I'm fluent in Spanish, I've been reading up on this board and am lining up talent on badoo, cyber cupido & Facebook. Will give back to the board by posting report and any useful info for your use. I've got some questions:

    Flying to Havana from Cancun and I'm wondering if I should purchase the ticket when I land in Cancun or should I go thru a Canadian travel agent? I'm wondering if the price of the flight will be higher once I'm in Cancun or if it will be the same if I had bought ahead of time thru the Canadian travel agent.

    If I do go ahead and buy the flight to habana when I land in Cancun would it be too much of a hassle to get the visa & health insurance before flying out? I'm leaning to the easiest & smoothest method w / o any hassle from unca' Sam.

    Thanks again,

    ShakeForMe

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