Dear American Travellers, if you’re interested in experiencing the charm and character of Cuba with the gay travel experts at Out Adventures, your chance to visit the island nation may be slipping away. On April 17th, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new economic pressures on Cuba in an attempt to stop the country from aiding the oppressive Venezuelan government. Among the economic pressures is Cuba travel restrictions for Americans that he referred to as “veiled tourism”.
Read on for a quick breakdown of what these measures entail and how you can still book a trip to Cuba.
What are the American travel to Cuba restrictions?
Currently no changes have been made. While Bolton alluded to change, he was not specific as to what the changes would be. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) – the department in charge of imposing and enforcing these regulations – has not published any changes.
That said, our Cuba operation specialists have suggested the rumour is both the ‘People to People’ and ‘Support for the Cuban People’ licence categories will be eliminated. This will effectively eliminate all American travel to Cuba outside of family-visits and special assignments such as journalism or diplomatic visits.
I have already booked travel to Cuba, should I cancel?
No. According to our Cuba operation specialists, it is unlikely the new regulations will affect travel already purchased, no matter what dates you travel on. This was the case when the Trump Administration back peddled Obama’s relaxed relations with Cuba in June 2017. Travellers that could prove they made some financial transaction prior to the June 2017 announcement (for example booking a hotel, plane ticket or a tour such as ours) were not impacted by the new regulations. Further, these travellers could make whatever additional transactions were necessary for their trip.
Assuming Bolton’s announcement will follow the same course as the June 2017 announcement, any Cuba travel purchased before the official statement will still stand. This means if you want to visit Cuba with Out Adventures you must book immediately.
I haven’t booked anything yet, can I still travel to Cuba?
Yes. Until an official statement is given by the OFAC, the current regulations are still in effect. But as mentioned above, you should not wait to book.
Bolton did not mention specifics and we have no way of knowing what license categories will be eliminated. Currently, Out Adventures’ travellers visit Cuba under the ‘Support for the Cuban People’ licence category which is rumoured to be among the main cuts. The official statement by the OFAC will likely come within the next few days and travel booked after this time is most likely going to be affected. Again, to avoid the new regulations, we recommend booking your Cuba tour with Out Adventures immediately.
What if I book a tour with you and it isn’t legal under new rules?
We want you to feel comfortable booking your Cuba tour. That’s why we will gladly refund deposits made on our Cuban adventures in such a scenario where the upcoming regulations are retroactive and prevent clients with previous travel arrangements from travelling to Cuba, regardless of the date their services were booked.
No refunds will be provided to clients who are legally allowed to travel.
As mentioned, if you’re interested in joining either our Cultural Cuba or Cuba: New Year Fiesta gay tours, book immediately. While it’s expected the official statement will arrive this week, we have no idea if that means tomorrow or next week.
If you have any questions what-so-ever about the new Cuba travel sanctions, please email us (email@example.com) or call us ASAP (CAN/US: 1-866-360-1152. International: +1-416-531-8795).
Header photo by Alexander Kunze and courtesy of unsplash.com.
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