Cuban Flavors, Colors and Stories

2018 Legally Visiting Cuba

Posted on March 11, 2018 |

In 2018, Cuba is still easily and legally accessible to visit.

When travel changes were announced at the end of 2017, most Americans understood the new changes to mean that they could no longer travel to Cuba.

Not true.  And we are about to clear that up right now.

When booking your travel plans through the airlines or cruise ship, you will be asked to choose from a list of 12 categories (reasons) to indicate why you will be stepping onto Cuban soil.   Prior to November 8, 2017, virtually all traveling Americans chose the category “people to people”.  And that is specifically the category that changed.

Now, if you want to travel to Cuba in 2018 as an American citizen with an American passport, you need to select the category “support the Cuban people“.  According to the US Department of Treasury’s OFAC division, this category will legally allow you to step off your flight or cruise ship and onto Cuban soil.

Specifically, the “support the Cuban people” means that you will not be supporting the Cuban government by staying in hotels or eating at government restaurants or shopping in government stores.

Instead, you will be supporting the Cuban people by staying in their homes through Airbnb (if you flew in), by eating at family restaurants, by purchasing products directly from the Cuban people, and by taking private tours.

Food Tours Havana is a private company which employs private Cuban citizens who are degreed translators from the University of Havana, and who take you to private family restaurants.  Not one single person involved in the logistics of our food tour is a government employee nor does the Cuban government benefit from the tour.

The US Department of Treasury’s OFAC division states the following on their website:

Support for the Cuban People Travel:    In accordance with the NSPM, OFAC is requiring that each traveler under this travel category engage in a full-time schedule of activities that result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba. Such activities must also enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities. Renting a room in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by selfemployed Cubans (cuentapropistas) are 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.

As noted in the last line, visitors are to have a full time schedule in which they will be supporting the Cuban people.

At the request of our customers, Food Tours Havana now offers additional private tours.  Contact us at info@foodtourshavana.com and we will assist you in filling up your itinerary.

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