Wednesday, September 4, 2019

How to use the Support for the Cuban People license

How do I go to Cuba on my own?

1) Book non-stop to Havana on Jet Blue from JFK or on United from Newark.  American, Delta and Southwest have connecting flights.  American or Jet Blue flies from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Holguin, Varadero, Camagüey and Santiago (from May 3d).

2) Select “Support for the Cuban People” as the appropriate license category from the airline menu.

3) Use AirBnB or Trip Advisor to reserve a room or an apartment (casa particular) from a private owner

4) Eat in a private restaurant (paladar)

5) Buy handicrafts, art and clothing from self-employed craftspeople and creators (cuenta propistas)

6) If you need a guide, hire her or him privately (preferably in advance)

7) As much as possible, use private taxis (also available between cities)

8) Whatever you do, wherever you go, be intentional and responsible that your goal is “a full-time schedule of activities that enhance contact with the Cuban people … and that result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.”  (The judgement of what qualifies is your own.)

9) Apportion recreational activities like concerts, dancing and the beach as in a normal work week

10)  Keep a journal or list of your “meaningful interactions” for five years.

Current US government regulations are here.  

Essential information for independent travelers   tinyurl.com/Cubabasics 

Join 81% of Americans to call for the end of all travel restrictions   tinyurl.com/Cuba4all

31 CFR § 515.574 - Support for the Cuban People.


§ 515.574 Support for the Cuban People.
(a)General license. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and other transactions that are intended to provide support for the Cuban people are authorized, provided that:
(1) The activities are of:
(i) Recognized human rights organizations;
(ii) Independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; or
(iii) Individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba; and
(2) Each traveler engages in a full-time schedule of activities that:
(i) Enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, orpromote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities; and
(ii) Result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba.
(3) The traveler's schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.
Note 1 to paragraph (A):
Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
Note 2 to paragraph (A):
Staying in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately-owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) are examples of activities that qualify for this general license. However, in order to meet the requirement for a full-time schedule, a traveler must engage in additional authorized Support for the Cuban People activities.
Example 1 to § 515.574:
An individual plans to travel to Cuba, stay in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eat at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shop at privately-owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) during his or her four-day trip. While at the casa particular, the individual will have breakfast each morning with the Cuban host and engage with the Cuban host to learn about Cuban culture. In addition, the traveler will complete his or her full-time schedule by supporting Cuban entrepreneurs launching their privately-owned businesses. The traveler's activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Because the individual's qualifying activities are not limited to staying in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) and the traveler maintains a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people, supports civil society in Cuba, and promotes the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities, and that results in meaningful interaction between the traveler and Cuban individuals, the individual's travel qualifies for the general license.
Example 2 to § 515.574:
A group of friends plans to travel and maintain a full-time schedule throughout their trip by volunteering with a recognized non-governmental organization to build a school for underserved Cuban children with the local community. In their free time, the travelers plan to rent bicycles to explore the streets of Havana and visit an art museum. The travelers' trip would qualify for the general license because the volunteer activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba and constitute a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people and supports civil society in Cuba, and results in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.
Example 3 to § 515.574:
An individual plans to travel to Cuba, rent a bicycle to explore the neighborhoods and beaches, and engage in brief exchanges with local beach vendors. The individual intends to stay at a hotel that does not appear on the Cuba Restricted List (see § 515.209). The traveler's trip does not qualify for this general license because none of these activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba.
[80 FR 2299, Jan. 16, 2015, as amended at 82 FR 52003, Nov. 9, 2017]

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