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The Cuban Assets Control Regulations of the U.S. Treasury Department require that persons subject to U.S. 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 resince in usa cannot travel to cuba, the regulation says that the USA resindents CANNOT SPEND MONEY IN CUBA, So.. there are some way to legal travel to cuba from usa

 

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The following categories of travelers are permitted to spend money for Cuban travel and to engage in other transactions directly. Incident to the purpose of their travel under a general license, without the need to obtain special permission from the U.S. Treasury Department:

1.-. U.S. and foreign government officials traveling on official business, including representatives of international organizations of which the U.S. is a member.

2.-. Journalists and supporting broadcasting or technical personnel regularly employed by a news reporting organization.

3.-. Persons making a once-every-3-yearsr visit to close family relatives in circumstances of humanitarian need.

4.-. Full-time professionals whose travel transactions are directly related to professional research in their professional areas, provided that their research : (1) is of a noncommercial academic nature; (2) comprises a full work schedule in Cuba, and (3) has a substantial likelihood of public dissemination.

5.-. Amateur or semi-professional athletes or teams traveling to Cuba to participate in an athletic competition held under the auspices of the relevant international sports federation.


The Department of the Treasury may issue licenses on a case-by-case basis authorizing Cuba travel-related transactions directly incident to marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, and servicing of exports and reexports that appear consistent with the licensing policy of the Department of Commerce. The sectors in which U.S. citizens may sell and service products to Cuba include agricultural commodities, telecommunications activities, medicine, and medical devices. The Treasury Department will also consider requests for specific licenses for humanitarian travel not covered by the general license, educational exchanges, and religious activities by individuals or groups affiliated with a religious organization.

Unless otherwise exempted or authorized, any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction who engages in any travel-related transaction in Cuba violates the regulations. Persons not licensed to engage in travel-related transactions may travel to Cuba without violating the regulations only if all Cuba-related expenses are covered by a person not subject to U.S. jurisdiction and provided that the traveler does not provide any service to Cuba or a Cuban national. Such travel is called "fully-hosted" travel. Such travel may not by made on a Cuban carrier or aboard a direct flight between the United States and Cuba.

Failure to comply with Department of Treasury regulations may result in civil penalties and criminal prosecution upon return to the United States.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Licensing Division, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Treasury Annex, Washington, DC 20220, telephone (202) 622-2480; fax (202) 622-1657. Internet users can log on to the web site through http://www.treas.gov/ofac/.

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Facts -- Travel to cuba from USA.

-- It is legal for Americans to go to Cuba.
-- It is illegal for American to have transactions (spend money or receive gifts) in Cuba under most circumstances.
-- It is legal for American to have transactions (spend money or receive gifts) in Cuba if they have a "license", but the government is arbitrary about how it interprets its rule and who it issues licenses to.
-- If you are a journalists, government officials, have relatives in Cuba, are a full-time professionals (including doctors, dental hygienists, environmentalists and actors) going to conferences or doing research, you might be able to go to Cuba, under a "General License" -- with no red tape.

! ! ! ! Other activities they MAY be approve under Specific Licenses:

-- Humanitarian Travel
-- Free-Lance Journalism
-- Professional doing research or going to meetings that don't meet the criteria for a general license.
-- Religious activities - i.e. seeing the Pope
-- Public Performances, Clinics, Workshops, Athletic and Other Competitions, and Exhibits (i.e. Baltimore Orioles) - all profits from the event after costs must be donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity, with the objective, to the extent possible, of promoting people-to-people contacts or otherwise benefiting the Cuban people.
-- Activities of Private Foundations or Research or Educational Institutions

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Returning from Cuba to USA

Please !!!! Take into consideration that the following is not in any way a legal advice and Nothing contained herein substitutes for consultation with a competent legal counselor.

If you are under United States (US) jurisdiction (a US passport or green card holder) and travel to Cuba without a license, the sticky point is when you return to the US. Returning to the US by air, you must complete a card where you are required to lists the countries you have visited. Prior to the Bush administration, people could admit that they went to Cuba and most breezed through US customs. Some were asked if they have Cuban goods and a verbal “no” was usually sufficient.

Friendly-treatment still happens – some customs agents say nothing. But it is now more likely that you will receive scrutiny. Some officers give a little lecture, others search bags for rum, cigars and other souvenirs to confiscated, sometimes passports are copied and notes taken, and sometime visitor to Cuba are treated like they are on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List". The interrogators can be belligerent and intimidating, you won’t be told that you have any rights, like the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself -- as guaranteed by the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These guys have training and practice at this. If you try to exercise your rights be prepared for hostility, threats and retaliation such as long baggage searches. You may feel like you are returning to a heavy-handed, non-democratic country. But despite all the theatre, you won’t be denied re-entry, you won’t be arrest and the harassment doesn't mean you will have to pay a penny of fine!

When you enter the U.S. you will have to fill out a white card asking a few question about where you went and the value of goods you are bringing back. Legally, to avoid perjuring yourself, it’s best to list that you visited Cuba and all the other country you transited through, and to be able to say the value of items you are returning from Cuba with is zero dollars. If asked about a license (see “Traveling to Cuba”), your best position is to explain how you qualify for a “General license” or to the extent you can emphasis that you participated in an “educational people-to-people program”. If asked for information beyond the details covered on the custom’s form you should try to refuse to give self-incriminating information and say “I have been advised by counsel to not answer any further questions.” The customs agents may tell you to fill out an OFAC form that asks for the details of your trip and expenditures. Legally there is probably a limit to how much US government can compel you to tell them about how much you spent for any portion of your trip, who you met, who you travel with, who you did business with, etc. If you intend to refuse to answer their questions and fill out the forms, expect to be searched by a cross customs agent. You are advised to not carrying any paperwork, receipts or goods that identify or indicate any expenditure in Cuba. Without a license, any goods of Cuban origins, regardless of where they were bought, are subject to seizure and can be used as evidence that you had transactions with Cubans. The interrogation and search may be the last you hear from the government. Or several months later the ugly beast might rear its head again.

People under U.S. jurisdiction sometimes take advantage of the fact that they can travel to and from Mexico using a government issued photo ID and proof of citizenship. They still need a passport to enter and leave Cuba. Returning to Mexico, they bury their passport and any evidence that they visited Cuba. When they re-enter the U.S. they use a photo ID (i.e. driver's license) and proof of citizenship (i.e. birth certificate, naturalization papers, green card).

 

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