Sunday, December 24, 2017

Trip Advisor Summary of New License for Independent Travel

Independent Travel Under "Support for the Cuban People"

There is considerable misinformation and disinformation in mainstream and travel media about whether one can still travel independently to Cuba.

In effect, "Support for the Cuban People" was expanded to replace the individual People to People License.  The only difference is that travelers are expected to patronize the private sector as much as possible for housing, meals and transportation.

The political language surrounding Support is virtually identical to both prior and current People to People licenses.  To appease Sen. Rubio, intrusive, if not hostile, purposes are listed as alternatives to a personal commitment to full time engagement with the Cuban people.  The crucial word for both licenses is "or".

For group travel the organizer is responsible for content and keeping records; for independent travel alone, or with family or with friends, the traveler(s) are responsible.

Full texts of revised regulations with annotation are here

Our last newsletter covers the topic here

The bottom line is that independent travel is most supportive of the growing private sector in Cuba.  It is at least as engaging with the Cuban people as prestructured group tours, especially if a local guide is hired.  It certainly does more for the participant and for Cuba than cruises, a fully authorized mode of travel.

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development
Cuba/US People to People Partnership

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