Embargo

Wild Cuban Days (If You’re Canadian Maybe)

 “Under federal rules, even Beyoncé had to engage in educational activities on the recent trip she and her husband, Jay-Z, made to Cuba.”

New York Times, Joyce Waldner, April 17, 2013

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Photo by: Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press

Excerpt:

“I wouldn’t have thought Beyoncé and I and my mother and Jay-Z had much in common, but as we all traveled to Cuba recently I am feeling so sympathetic and empathetic I am wondering if I shouldn’t give them a call and set up a lunch.

I sympathize with Beyoncé and Jay-Z because even though they visited Cuba legally, following the travel requirements of our very own government, they were criticized.

I feel for my mother and me because we had to travel to Cuba under the same regulations, which — and I am quoting from a statement from the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control — gives licenses only to “People-to-People Groups that certify that all participants will have a full-time schedule of educational activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and the people of Cuba.”

Please read the article by following this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/booming/wild-cuban-days-if-youre-canadian-maybe.html?comments&_r=0

Related comment From Art Heitzer, Chair of NLG Cuba Cubcommittee:

“As pointed out by one of my Cuba Travel provider clients, to the degree that the U.S. government is officially allowing US nationals to travel to Cuba, it is increasingly doing just what critics have accused the Cuban government of doing (which the Cuban government by and large does not do), that is to subject U.S. travelers to a “minder,” who schedules them in structured meetings and tries to make the travelers account for what they do and where they go almost all the time. (I’m advised that the application for such tour providers is now some 100 pages long, substantially for this purpose, and this was done in response to pressure from Cuban-Americans  in Congress who oppose any steps towards normalization.)

There’s much to be learned from a structured trip to Cuba, but the richness of travel to Cuba is to get off the beaten path, which is not very hard to do, and exchange experiences with average Cubans. They have lots of problems, as do we, but their experiences and approaches are very different than ours – & we have much to both learn from and share with each other. There is no better way to judge this situation than to go and see for yourself.”

Atty. Arthur Heitzer, Chair,

Cuba Subcommittee, Natl. Lawyers Guild

aheitzer@igc.org

Click the “Travel to Cuba” link at the top of our webiste or click here if you are interested in traveling to Cuba!

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