Hey Americans, It’s Still Possible to Travel to Cuba
Despite a flurry of news reports that would seem to indicate otherwise, it’s still possible for Americans to travel independently to Cuba.
It’s a crucial message and one that the coordinator of Cuba-US People to People Partnership is seeking to circulate far and wide before serious harm is done to the Cuban economy and private businesses on the Caribbean island.
Numerous news organizations have erroneously reported that it’s no longer possible for Americans to travel independently to Cuba, said McAuliff.
In the wake of new travel regulations announced in November by the Treasury Department, news organizations have issued wildly varying reports about the current situation, including stating that all visits must be done through recognized US group-tour agencies and that visits are now limited to tours sanctioned by the US government, permission for which the Trump administration can make as stringent as it wants.
This additional category states that travelers must engage in a full-time schedule of activities that result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba. Renting a room in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at a privately owned Cuban restaurant (paladares) and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas) are all examples of authorized activities.
However, in order to meet the requirement of a full-time schedule, a traveler must engage in additional authorized Support for the Cuban People activities.
The Cuba-US People to People Partnership also stated that tour operators may have motive to discourage individual visits to the island, as they take place outside of their packaged programs or cruises.
Trump’s rollback of Obama-era travel freedoms in Cuba have not been the only damper on tourism to the island.
American travel has also been slowed by safety warnings issued in September by the US government, which included the US Embassy in Havana withdrawing 60 percent of its staff.
The government has warned Americans of alleged sonic attacks on US Embassy Havana employees. The mysterious attacks have been said to cause individuals to suffer from a range of symptoms including ear complaints, hearing loss, dizziness, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.
The U.S. and Cuban governments have not yet determined who is responsible for the attacks and the Cuban government has denied any involvement, calling the reports bizarre nonsense.
Source: Travel Pulse