Originally posted by csulli456
What would happen if I put my family on a raft and headed for Cuba? What would the authorities do when we arrived? How would we be treated?
Originally posted by ghostsoldier
To my knowledge, the US accepts them (because they are obviously anti-Castro and anti-Socialism) ... The US usually uses them as examples aswell...
Originally posted by csulli456
You have absolutely not answered my question. I`m not trying to be sarcastic. Yes I know the US accepts everyone, but would I along with my family be
accepted into Cuba, or would I be mistreated and prosecuted or just turned away. I am assuming you live there and am sincerly interested in knowing
your countries policy on such an issue , if you infact know the answer, or even just your opinion on what would happen.
Sorry, I completely mis-read your question - I took it as from Cuba
rather than to Cuba
... This makes so much more sense now
You definately would not
be mistreated or prosecuted... What would probably happen is that you would go through some form of interogation to
find out why
you are heading to Cuba - they would most likely be extremely suspicious - you would have to explain that you are not a US
But alas no, I do not live in Cuba... I intend on going mid-to-late next year (2006) - Just 'cause I am dirt poor at the moment...
CAN I (AN AMERICAN) TRAVEL TO CUBA
1) Can I travel to Cuba? (What the law says)
Yes, U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens (green card holders) may travel to Cuba. The legislation in question here is under the Trading with
the Enemy act, which restricts you from spending money in Cuba, not on traveling there. But as being a traveler you will require accommodations,
food and other necessities, this law can be equated to a ban on travel. Exceptions to the ban on spending money in Cuba are allowed by licenses
issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department.
2) License, or not to license
An Individual license is the US governments ‘permission’ to travel to Cuba. Whether you apply to receive one is a personal decision. A General
License, issued by the OFAC, is designed for certain categories of people like journalists employed by a recognized media organization and do not
require individual permission for visits. Others who are "fully hosted," meaning that they are invited and their expenses are paid by a non-U.S.
host individual or organization, may also visit without an individual license. Some institutions also have licenses that cover anyone they authorize
to use their license for travel in keeping with the terms of the license.
To travel to Cuba it is not imperative that you have a license. No American must accept this government policy. Each year tens of thousands of U.S.
citizens come to Cuba without licenses. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been criminally prosecuted for the simple act of visiting Cuba.
The OFAC has attempted to levy fines, but there are always ways around them.
Friendship Tours does not require that you have a license. If we ask, it is only so that we are prepared and has not bearing on whether we will
assist you or not. Our policy is only that people traveling through Friendship Tours respect the protocol established between Cuba
Organizations/Ministries and Canada-Cuba Friendship Association. For example, if you are friendly toward Cuba or open to learning about Cuba, we
welcome your patronage. Any actions carried out contrary to this protocol can result in dismissal from tour without compensation of any kind. If you
have any questions in this regard, please send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Cuban Visa
Visa, (also known as the Cuba Tourist Card). This is the documentation you require to enter Cuba. It has no relationship what so ever to the license.
4) What do I say if questioned upon my return?
Those Americans who visit Cuba without licenses should know that U.S. immigration forms for returning travelers may ask what countries you have
visited. Since without a license you cannot come on direct U.S.-Cuba charter flights, you will normally have come via a gateway city. It is not a
legal offense to name the transit country as visited and not to mention Cuba. However, if an immigration officer directly asks if you visited Cuba,
you must admit it because lying to a federal officer is an offense. Americans who admit to immigration officials that they visited Cuba without a
license are not denied re-entry or arrested. Some immigration officers may give a little lecture, some may say nothing, sometimes baggage may be
closely inspected and your rum or cigars confiscated, and sometimes passports may be copied or notes taken. It is in no way an intimidating or scary
procedure. Also a note: when at the Cuban customs they generally do not stamp American passports for these reasons, but just in case, it is a wise
precaution to bring alternative ID to use when re-entering the U.S. from Canada.
5) What if I receive a letter from the U.S. treasury?
If you do receive a letter, it will typically be one of the following:
1) A "Requirement to Furnish Information" letter to the traveler demanding information on the traveler's suspected unlicensed travel to Cuba.
Usually this letter states that specific information is "required," without informing the recipients of their rights, such as to remain silent or
to seek legal counsel. Everyone should know that they have the right, and should refuse to give self-incriminating information demanded in the
"Requirement to Furnish Information" letter.
2) A "Pre-penalty Notice" mailed to the traveler assessing a civil fine. The "Pre-penalty Notice" gives the traveler 30 days to pay the fine or
request an official hearing. In the event of the "Pre-Penalty Notice", you should ask well within the 30-day period for a hearing. The letter
proposes to assess a fine in an amount which averages $7,500 but can be $100,000 or more. We urge all letter recipients to immediately contact the NLG
for further information regarding their rights, and how to obtain legal counsel, at: www.nlg.org...
We urge anyone who receives a "Requirement to Furnish Information" or a "Pre-penalty Notice" to go to
where you will find information on the National Lawyers Guild program to defend non-licensed
travelers to Cuba. This page has form letters for response to OFAC: one for 1) above in which the traveler refuses to give self-incriminating
information; and another for 2) above in which the traveler requests a formal hearing. Because OFAC until now has never set up a hearing procedure and
has no civil judges to hear cases, the matter of the fine dies. In effect Americans until now (September 2001) can visit Cuba without licenses and
without fear of having to pay a civil fine. Send your response letter "Registered---Return Receipt Requested." As for criminal penalties, the
chances for a grand jury indictment and criminal trial are very remote for a simple visit to Cuba without license.