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
in Vedado, Havana
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.
U.S. and foreign government officials traveling on
official business, including representatives of international
organizations of which the U.S. is a member.
Journalists and supporting broadcasting or technical
personnel regularly employed by a news reporting organization.
Persons making a once-every-3-yearsr visit to close family
relatives in circumstances of humanitarian need.
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
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
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/.
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:
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
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
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.
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).