How do you get to Cuba?

Old Aug 13th, 2001, 06:55 PM
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How do you get to Cuba?

I'd like to visit Cuba with my wife. How do we get there? Is it illegal to visit Cuba? Please advise. Can you go to Nassau, then Cuba from there? File for a special permit? How? thanks robert
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 02:31 AM
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Technically, it is legal to visit Cuba - it is jsut illegal to spend any money there!

The legal way around that is to visit for an educational, journalism, etc. reason - and there are more and more tours going there that are open to anyone. All sorts of organizations run tours to there, and these are legal.

If you do not want to go on a tour, you can fly to Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, and fly from there. The Cubans will not stamp your passport. There is a fine that the US government can issue, but enforcement is lax. Personally, I would not go this way, but it is available.

I was recently in Merida, Mexico, and every travel agent had signs up offering deals to Cuba. These usually came in two categories - time at a beach resort or time in and around Havana. The prices were reasonable.
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 09:29 AM
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Why not try the good old tried & tested method ? Just hijack a plane...
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 04:27 PM
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Hey Hiho,

What would happen if they DO stamp your passport?
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 05:51 PM
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The St. Petersburg Times ran a story within the last week which basically stated that the Bush Administration has begun to enforce the "trading with the enemy" ban on Cuba with $7500 fines. Something about a group of American fishing buddies returning via Canada and being caught at the airport... I will try to find the link and post it here.
Old Aug 14th, 2001, 06:05 PM
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Here's the link:
Old Aug 15th, 2001, 07:43 PM
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Flew back from Grand Cayman in May with a woman who had taken a side trip from there to Cuba. She said they did not stamp her passport, but that she had taken a risk going there.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 02:39 AM
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If they did stamp your passport, it would be prrof that you visited, hence the no stamping policy. In the past decade almost no one was prosecuted for having visited Cuba illegally, under the new Bush policy, the chances of any particular individual being prosecuted will be greater, but still small.

Many people must be going to Cuba - where I live - in DC - there are more guidebooks on Cuba on bookstore shelves by far than on any other Carib. country.
Old Aug 16th, 2001, 04:42 PM
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Hi...I went to Cuba 3 years ago with my family. We flew out of Toronto, but have an unusual situation in that I am U.S., married to a Canadian, have a U.S. passport, but my husband and children have a Canadian passport.
I was nervous because of all of the hype I've heard about Cuba and truthfully, they love American's (especially their money!)
It's not the Cuban govt. that has a problem with Americans going to their country, but the American govt.
I found the Cubans to be so nice, well educated people. Nothing like what I was brought up to see on the American news channels and CNN.
Many American tourists go and fly out of any Canadian port. The advantage is that the U.S. $ is worth almost 50% more in Canada and many of the 4 & 5 star all inclusives are available for $1200-$1400 Canadian money. What a deal for an American tourist.
This is also true for any Americans who want to go to any all inclusives in Mexico or the Caribiean. Most places are the same price if not less in Canadian $, so if U.S. folks can fly to a Canadian city and fly out from their, they could save so much on their vacation.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 08:29 AM
vicki larson
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i recently traveled to cuba with an international women's human rights organization called MADRE, that goes legally twice a year. it was a great trip. their website is and their phone number in new york is 212.627.0444.
Old Aug 17th, 2001, 09:05 AM
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Hi Robert! It appears that the best way to go to Cuba is through an organization. This is because on July 13, 2001 W requested additional funds to crackdown on visitors to Cuba. It is absolutely ridiculous, but an increasing number of Americans are being slapped with fines of up to $7,500. Frommers wrote an interesting editorial, which can be viewed at:

Also, be aware that your pasport is indeed stamped. There has been a good discussion on this on Google's Caribbean forum. Check out for example:
Old Aug 18th, 2001, 02:42 AM
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CUBA:Fly out of Canada.Fly out of Montego Bay on Air Jamaica. AVOID Varadero Beach,the tourist magnet,and head for Santiago and the older cities.
Be prepared for great people but less than great food.
Old Jan 18th, 2002, 06:51 AM
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As a Canadian I just book a trip as usual and there are always a lot of Americans there. Americans come to Canada or Mexico to get to Cuba. Take only American dollars as Castro is building Cuba with them, as the only acceptable currency from visitors.

American officials are trying to punish other sovereign nations for doing business with Cuba, but when you get there you will find lots of Coca-Cola products. Maybe they shoud try sanctions against their own businesses first!

Go to Cuba - politics aside you will find the beaches hard to beat, the people friendly and travelling around safe and unlimited!

In the Cayo Coco region there aren't any private restaurants so you are limited to hotel dining. The food is known not to be very good in Cuba, but I have been told that the best food can be found in Canadian run hotels (Delta) or find out if the hotel has a Canadian Chef or a Canadian trained chef as they are the best to be found there.

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