UA Alumni Association plans trip to Cuba
Posted: Jul 19, 2013 8:13 AM EDTUpdated: Jul 19, 2013 8:13 AM EDTBy WBRC Staff BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
For most Americans, what they know about Cuba is from what they've seen on TV or what they have read, due to travel restrictions.
A group with the University of Alabama will soon get an opportunity most people never get. The University of Alabama Alumni Association is now what they believe to be the only license holder in the state of Alabama to travel to Cuba in this way.
The alumni association says it took about a year to get the license from the U.S. Government and it comes with restrictions. The weeklong trip in November is in the planning stages right now, and it's open not just to UA alums, but also their friends and family. It has to be clear that it is not a vacation, but a cultural exchange. Commercial flights do not travel into Cuba, so the plane will be a charter. All the payments have to be made up front, because U.S. credit cards are not accepted in Cuba and exchanged U.S. money is tightly controlled in Cuba.
"The license actually comes from the U.S. Treasury from the Department of Foreign Assets Control. It took almost a year for us to apply," said Tour coordinator Ashley Clayton. "We did a lot of research. We basically have to prove that we are a legitimate educational interest and that we are not going there on a vacation."
The University of Alabama actually has a decade long relationship with the University of Havana and this idea grew out of that. Spots are still available on the trip. If you're interested, you can contact the UA Alumni Association.
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