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any tips for not getting caught when returning from cuba via Toronto?

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Nov 3rd, 2002, 08:08 PM
  #1
KatD
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any tips for not getting caught when returning from cuba via Toronto?

Im thinking of visiting Cuba and flying from the USA via Toronto.Im sorta nervous because I know you go threw US Customs before boarding your US flight in toronto.for those of you who have taken this route..any tips on how to help not get caught?
if asked should I lie about being in Cuba?
all tips are greatly appreciated
 
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Nov 4th, 2002, 07:12 PM
  #2
x
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I've heard its not against the law for american to visit cuba just to spend currency. C
 
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Nov 5th, 2002, 04:19 AM
  #3
Melissa
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Cuban's don't even stamp passports anymore, so you don't have to worry about that
 
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Nov 5th, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #4
Steve
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Before you go to Cuba (and I really hope you do go) you should have a look at the sites listed below. If you know your legal rights, and how to stand up for your rights, then there is simply NOTHING the US Treasury Department or INS or Customs can do about your trip. The important thing to remember is not to incriminate yourself. So please do a little reading and ENJOY YOUR TRIP.

Steve.

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U.S. citizens with valid passports are able to visit Cuba. Moreover, a group of lawyers created by the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights, both based in New York, have established a joint support program for those in need of it. Instructions from the Lawyers Guild

(www.nlg.org)

on how to proceed in the event of a letter from the Treasury Department related to unlicensed travel to Cuba, can be found on

www.cubalinda.com.
 
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Nov 5th, 2002, 08:53 PM
  #5
BB
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I really hope that you get to visit Cuba. It is one of my favourite destinations. It is funny since so many people in the USA pride themselves on being free but are not free to travel just anywhere.
Anyway, if you go to Cuba let the Cuban passport control know so that they don't stamp your passport. What they will do instead is stamp a paper which you must keep until you leave where they will again stamp it on departure. Unfortunately there has been much more surveillance with the Bush administration on Americans travelling to Cuba via Toronto. It was written in the newspaper that they had surveillance at Lester B. Pearson airport. People they have caught this way were fined 7K to 14K. The risk is yours and if you choose to take it, read up on it carefully. On a brighter note 50,000 Americans do it successfully every year.
 
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Nov 5th, 2002, 10:07 PM
  #6
alice
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You can also fly from the U.S. via Mexico or various places in the Caribbean such as Jamaica...NO PROBLEM MON!!

P.S. You should ABSOLUTELY visit Cuba..I went in May and cannot say enough good things...the people are AWESOME! You might want to check out sancristobal.com which is a travel agency based out of Canada that specializes in Cuban trips...have fun!
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #7
xxx
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With so many wonderful Caribbean destinations to choose from why would anyone want to go to Cuba from the U.S? What is the point. I don't get it. Does it have something different than all of the other vacation spots that the U.S. can travel? I would not take the chance. Just my thoughts.
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #8
Dave
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I'm sure Cuba is a nice place but it's the allure of "forbidden fruit".
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 05:23 PM
  #9
BB
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In answer to xxx question on why Cuba: Cuba is different than the Dominican Republic or Mexico in that it is not Americanized. Most of the tourists are European and Canadian. The beaches are spectacular in Varadero, and the resorts have more of a Latin feel to it than the ones in DR and Mexico. The local people have this spirit and attitude that warms your heart and you can really feel it- both on the resorts and in Havana. Havana has its own charm with the 50s cars and colonial architecture. I guess you just have to visit it and then visit the other places to really know why people would risk it.
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 12:22 AM
  #10
mh
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I currently live and work in Germany. The local travel agents are always advertising amazing vacation packages to Cuba. This place appears to be very beautiful and cheap. I attempted to make travel arrangements to go there. The travel agent asked me about my Visa to stay in Germany. She told me that as an American with an American passport, that by going to Cuba, which is forbidden by the US state dept., that I could be jeapordizing my Visa. I asked her why and she told me that at Frankfurt airport, customs keeps track of the nationalities leaving from Germany to Cuba. The state dept would then be notified, therefore possibly jeapordizing my current immigration status. I told her thanks for the information and did she have any other suggestions for st. somewhere? she suggested the Caymens, go figure, I just posted my expereinces in the Caymens on another thread about the best island in the caribbean. I have been going there since I was a little girl in 1976...If the original poster decides to do this and gets caught. Please accept responsiblity for your actions and suffer the consequences, whatever they may be.
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 02:00 AM
  #11
MH
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I meant to say that German Immigration and customs keeps on eye on who is traveling to Cuba from their airport. I am guessing that they do this because they are truly an allie of the US.
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 03:58 AM
  #12
xxx
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Thanks for explaining why people feel they would like to visit Cuba. It could be the forbidden fruit thing as well. It is not that I don't want to I just don't see the point but as you say I would have to visit, then compare other spots as well. Makes sense. Well I will just have to "wonder" cause as a U.S. citizen, I am not causing myself any problems. No way!
 
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Nov 8th, 2002, 07:48 AM
  #13
colin
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Ther are flifgt to Cuba on a regular basis
out of Nassau.There is also a Havanatur Office at the foot of the Paradise Island bridge.Also as mentioned in previous posts they do not stamp your passport if you ask them not to.Havanatur ph # 242-393-5282 or 242-394-7195.
 
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Nov 9th, 2002, 06:29 PM
  #14
anon for good reason
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KatD,
Yes you should lie about being in Cuba. Customs won't have any proof that you have been in Cuba because it won't show on your passport. They might be suspicious about your tan, so be prepared to say that you went to a Spa for the day and tanned unless of course it is summer in Toronto. If you should get caught in a lie at customs usually they'll give you a lecture and a threat, but who knows -just don't admit anything about going to Cuba. If you do get a penalty letter in the mail, don't pay it. You will have 30 days to file a hearing. File it and the problem is solved without paying a penalty because you will then be entitled under a 1992 law to an in-house hearing before a Treasury administrative judge, whose ruling would be subject to review in Federal Court where the constitutional issue could be raised and which the US government does not want to raise and thus will let the penalty issue die. The government knows that if you contest the file they cannot prosecute you so don't feel pressured to pay it. Here is a link I found helpful http://eserver.org/bs/60/crumpacker.html By the way, Varadero Cuba is awesome.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 09:30 AM
  #15
anon for good reason
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Whoops, I kind of repeated an above poster. Steve's posting is really good. Read those links that he gives you. Basically you can travel there, but don't admit to it, and you'll have a wonderful trip with no worrys.
 
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Nov 10th, 2002, 04:07 PM
  #16
Martin
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I can confirm that they do not stamp your passport.

I am a Brit and just got back last week.
On my entry into Cuba I ASKED the immigration official to stamp my passport but when I inspected it later I saw that he had just stamped my immigration card.

I wouldn't want anyone to get into trouble but if you can/dare to visit then it is worth it to go NOW.

If/when Castro dies and if/when the U.S. gets a new president then in my opinion the U.S. embargo will end.

Trust me - Cuba will become a completely different place so go NOW!

It is totally different from the other islands in the Caribbean.

There are lots of pictures and reports of what Cuba is like on my little website about my visit to Cuba if you are interested:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/martin.dearnley/cuba/


 
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Nov 17th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #17
xxx
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Topping for Leslie
 
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Nov 25th, 2002, 05:14 AM
  #18
Michael
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Instead of lying and sneaking around, why not just ask the State Dept for permission to travel? The Portsmouth NH High School asked for permission and went. I realize a high school class and an "every day Joe" will get a different response, but I'd ask. And remember, if it's an authorized trip, you are allowed to bring back itmes for personnal consumption, ie Cuban cigars.

Some day I'll go to Cuba... So many Caribean Islands, so little time!!
 
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Nov 25th, 2002, 09:37 AM
  #19
anon
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You should look into getting into Cuba as well.

I spoke with a Cuban-American last year who flew from Miami to Toronto to Cuba because she was told it would be ok.

Cuban immigration denied entry and she was returned to Toronto on the plane she had just arrived on.
 
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Nov 26th, 2002, 03:24 AM
  #20
Martin
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When travelling from the UK you get a visitors visa from the Cuban embassy in London PRIOR to travelling. They cost about £10 (can't remember exactly).

However you must get it before you travel. Your travel agent will advise you.

Regards
Martin
 
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