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A Caution [to U S Citizens no OFAC License with Health Issues] re Traveling To Cuba

A Caution [to U S Citizens no OFAC License with Health Issues] re Traveling To Cuba

Old Sep 22, 13, 3:33 pm
  #1  
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A Caution [to U S Citizens no OFAC License with Health Issues] re Traveling To Cuba

You can get from here (the US) to there (Cuba). In a number of ways. But if you're going "back door" - don't expect to be able to get home quickly if you have to - for any reason (including personal or family health issues). Best I can tell - there's no direct service from Havana to Miaimi for "back door" people. Robyn
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Old Sep 23, 13, 7:56 am
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Silly and unnecessary "warning", IMO, simply meant to scare uninformed U.S.passport holders away (the rest of the world flocks to the beaches of Cuba), and probably motivated by conservative political beliefs. I doubt many with a timid state of mind would consider not paying the premium for a legal cultural tour (such as Insight Cuba) anyway. And other travellers of an adventurous mind would probably inform themselves well about conditions and research reasonable plans.
There are many short daily flights from Havana to Cancun and from Cancun to anywhere in the U.S., similar to what a route might be from another destination that requires a transfer of flights.
You can find good medical care in Cuba (you are required to have valid insurance coverage) and in Mexico, just in case an emergency arises (in which case you would most likely have to be stabilized by local doctors before being moved anyway, even by medivac).
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Old Sep 23, 13, 10:35 am
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Did this happen to you, Robyn? Is that why you're posting this?

I agree with VNP that anyone who went to the trouble to enter via a third country knows what the situation is. They know there's a reason they have to take a circuitous route to get to Cuba and that that will be the only route of return.
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Old Sep 23, 13, 11:02 am
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Warning

If you are traveling in the EU and an ATC strike occurs, as has been announced for October 10, you may have a hard time making it back to the USA in an emergency.

The point is that anytime you travel, you need to be situationally aware of everything from weather to geo-political considerations.
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Old Sep 23, 13, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
Silly and unnecessary "warning", IMO, simply meant to scare uninformed U.S.passport holders away (the rest of the world flocks to the beaches of Cuba), and probably motivated by conservative political beliefs. I doubt many with a timid state of mind would consider not paying the premium for a legal cultural tour (such as Insight Cuba) anyway. And other travellers of an adventurous mind would probably inform themselves well about conditions and research reasonable plans.
There are many short daily flights from Havana to Cancun and from Cancun to anywhere in the U.S., similar to what a route might be from another destination that requires a transfer of flights.
You can find good medical care in Cuba (you are required to have valid insurance coverage) and in Mexico, just in case an emergency arises (in which case you would most likely have to be stabilized by local doctors before being moved anyway, even by medivac).
Actually just motivated by being older - and perhaps more concerned about the medical implications/possibilities when one is traveling.

Can you buy a health insurance policy in the US that's valid for travel in Cuba? I really don't know whether the one I usually buy is ok in Cuba. Note that I'm on Medicare - and Medicare won't cover medical care outside the US. My Medigap policy provides (very) limited coverage outside the US - but I haven't read all the "fine print" when it comes a place like Cuba.

FWIW - I did take a look at the medical insurance available if you arrive in Cuba without any. It's this:

http://www.cubagrouptour.com/informa...ance/#coverage

The coverage isn't so great - especially when it comes to repatriation. Also - I don't have a clue how things would work with a travel health insurance policy if one didn't have coverage in Cuba - but bought a "Mexico" policy and needed medical care if one were evacuated from Cuba to a place like Cancun.

Anyway - not my problem. But people with health issues - and/or older people should look into it. FWIW - I'm lucky that I've only had minor health issues when I've been outside the country. But I have known some people who died. One drowned in the ocean - a couple had heart attacks or similar. Robyn
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Old Sep 23, 13, 8:31 pm
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I've been and highly recommend it. Go without coverage during your vacation to Cuba if necessary. Who cares, it's worth it!
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Old Sep 23, 13, 10:31 pm
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I'd be very surprised if U.S. health insurance covers you during unlicensed travel to Cuba, because, technically, a U.S. citizen violates the law by traveling there. I could see the insurance company saying, sorry, you went someplace you weren't supposed to go.
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Old Sep 24, 13, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
Actually just motivated by being older - and perhaps more concerned about the medical implications/possibilities when one is traveling.

Can you buy a health insurance policy in the US that's valid for travel in Cuba? I really don't know whether the one I usually buy is ok in Cuba. Note that I'm on Medicare - and Medicare won't cover medical care outside the US. My Medigap policy provides (very) limited coverage outside the US - but I haven't read all the "fine print" when it comes a place like Cuba.

FWIW - I did take a look at the medical insurance available if you arrive in Cuba without any. It's this:

http://www.cubagrouptour.com/informa...ance/#coverage

The coverage isn't so great - especially when it comes to repatriation. Also - I don't have a clue how things would work with a travel health insurance policy if one didn't have coverage in Cuba - but bought a "Mexico" policy and needed medical care if one were evacuated from Cuba to a place like Cancun.

Anyway - not my problem. But people with health issues - and/or older people should look into it. FWIW - I'm lucky that I've only had minor health issues when I've been outside the country. But I have known some people who died. One drowned in the ocean - a couple had heart attacks or similar. Robyn
So you have not expressed any actual interest in visiting Cuba, but you are spending quite an effort here to bring up every extraneous negative. To what purpose? What is your real agenda? Again IMO, conservative politics are at work here.

And you have stated "I don't have a clue how things would work with a travel health insurance policy" so you haven't done even basic research on how hundreds of thousands of foreign travelers get coverage for their trips to Cuba and elsewhere. You seem not to have even read the links you gave, the coverage on which one example appears to me to be as reasonable as many travel policies of equal price.

If you are so concerned about the risk of having a medical crisis while in Cuba because of your age, simply stay home or go somewhere where you feel more comfortable. Belaboring a (non)point concerning Cuba seems a foolish waste of everybody's time.

Or as was said on another thread recently:
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
This is Flyertalk. We are global and we get it.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Sep 24, 13 at 7:58 am
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Old Sep 24, 13, 9:25 am
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If you go to Cuba, and you have doubts about your health plan's validity, make sure you stay far away from Tula, as she's been known to get careless around open flame.
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Old Sep 24, 13, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
If you go to Cuba, and you have doubts about your health plan's validity, make sure you stay far away from Tula, as she's been known to get careless around open flame.
Tula?
"¡Que llamen a Ibrahim Ferrer, que busquen los bomberos!"
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Old Sep 24, 13, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
a U.S. citizen violates the law by traveling there
No. A US Citizen violates the law by spending money there.
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Old Sep 25, 13, 2:46 pm
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A US Citizen violates the law by spending money there.
You still have to have the OFAC license from the Treasury Department to do it legally. You can't simply go to Cuba and say, "I'm staying with a host who is going to cover all my expenses. I won't spend any money." That isn't legal. If nothing else, a portion of your airfare would go to the Cuban government in the form of taxes and landing fees that the airline has to pay. It would be impossible to say, "I didn't spend any money in Cuba."

I don't agree with the travel embargo, but I think your statement doesn't present the complete story.
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Old Sep 26, 13, 1:59 am
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As a holder of a german passport and a member of the European Union I am always surprised that US citizens with no criminal records are not allowed by their own government to travel to wherever they want.

As we all know the cuban immigration will not stamp the passport except you insist as I always do.

What will happen to an US citizen travelling to Cuba without having the licence? Will he be sentenced to prison and for how many years? 20 years or life time?
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Old Sep 26, 13, 9:23 pm
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I don't think anybody has gone to prison, certainly not for life, but people have paid fines. A man from California paid a $6,500 fine last year. It was for an unlicensed trip he took several years ago. He appealed the penalty, but a court finally ruled last year that he had to pay the fine.

The embargo has been in place for 50 years, and the Castros are still in power.
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Old Sep 28, 13, 9:39 am
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My oh my, all this drama. There is no problems for US citizens to visit Cuba. Also you don't need to have Insurance, they usually sell it to you at the airport for $5. And I go there twice a year, believe me no one even bothers to ask to see you health insurance. And US citizens if questioned by US Immig, can say we did not spend any money there, we stayed with a Cuban family and they paid for all our meals etc.
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