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Mailing package to Cuba

Mailing package to Cuba

Old Dec 27, 13, 4:19 pm
  #1  
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Mailing package to Cuba

Don't know if this question is appropriate in this forum, but could anyone help me with mailing a small package to Cuba. Having just been there, my new Cuban friends asked if I could mail some aspirins, bandages, etc to them, and having had to borrow an aspirin when I was there(too much Havana Club)--I feel somewhat obligated to do so. That is until I took a 4 1/2 pound package to the local post office. The first woman said that I couldn't do it. Her supervisor said that I could, but it would have to weigh less than 4 lbs(no real problem) and that I would have to go to a treasury dept website www.treas.gov/ofac to find out how to do it. Big problem !!!
After spending 1/2 hour on this site and Dept of Commerce site, I'm here asking if anyone can shed any light on how to send a simple package to Cuba. It can't be this hard
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Old Dec 27, 13, 5:27 pm
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Sorry for your trouble. AFAIK, unfortunately, the embargo means there is no direct postal relationship between the USA and Cuba. There has been recent discussion about possible change, but that's pretty meaningless to your current situation.

Practically, using a licensed traveler to hand carry or mailing it from another country are probably easier methods - e.g. Canada.
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Old Dec 27, 13, 6:35 pm
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I went with a church group, and we hand carried all sorts of things that are difficult to get in Cuba, such as over-the-counter medications.

One of the places we visited was the main synagogue in Havana, and they told us that they receive donations from U.S. Jewish congregations via Canada or Latin America. In other words, the American congregation mails prayer books or other religious supplies to a congregation in Canada or Latin America and has them forward the package.

If you have a trusted friend in some other country, have them forward the package for you.

It's ridiculous, I know.
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Old Jan 1, 14, 12:17 pm
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As a general rule the FDA does not allow medications to be mailed to the U.S.

Medications are allowed to be mailed to Cuba. Maybe there might be some crazy rules in the U.S.

Aspirin and bandages can be bought in any pharmacy in Cuba. There is no shortage of medication in Cuba.

I do not understand the intention of the first posting in this thread.
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Old Jan 2, 14, 2:01 pm
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It's the crazy U. S. OFAC rules that prohibit US-Cuba direct mail.

Though common medications and plasters / bandages and many medications are available, some are difficult to obtain - e.g. even in "Farmacias Internacionales" that accept CUCs, one may have to contact several to find relatively common medications, such as Doxycycline. Scarcer medications may be difficult or even impossible to obtain. The farmacia internacional across from the Cira García Clinic for foreigners and diplomats (Ramon Mendoza Ave. and 17 St.) is probably the best stocked pharmacy / chemist in Cuba.

I would strongly recommend anyone with prescription medications of specialist nature take their supply to Cuba, with (as for any international travel) prescription information. If it goes missing, a physician or pharmacist / chemist will help find a relatively bioequivalent generic or substitute - in Cuba, that's usual.

As to the intent of post, it's not unusual for tourists to be approached and asked for soap, toothpaste, common medicines, etc. What one must think about is the askers are often found every day doing this begging on the street, so their purpose may be more remunerative than actually assisting their family.

And some other medically related scarcities also exist - e.g. decent compression stockings used by those with peripheral circulatory issues, for example.

Originally Posted by carpetbagger View Post
As a general rule the FDA does not allow medications to be mailed to the U.S.

Medications are allowed to be mailed to Cuba. Maybe there might be some crazy rules in the U.S.

Aspirin and bandages can be bought in any pharmacy in Cuba. There is no shortage of medication in Cuba.

I do not understand the intention of the first posting in this thread.
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Old Jan 3, 14, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It's the crazy U. S. OFAC rules that prohibit US-Cuba direct mail.

Though common medications and plasters / bandages and many medications are available, some are difficult to obtain - e.g. even in "Farmacias Internacionales" that accept CUCs, one may have to contact several to find relatively common medications, such as Doxycycline. Scarcer medications may be difficult or even impossible to obtain. The farmacia internacional across from the Cira García Clinic for foreigners and diplomats (Ramon Mendoza Ave. and 17 St.) is probably the best stocked pharmacy / chemist in Cuba.

I would strongly recommend anyone with prescription medications of specialist nature take their supply to Cuba, with (as for any international travel) prescription information. If it goes missing, a physician or pharmacist / chemist will help find a relatively bioequivalent generic or substitute - in Cuba, that's usual.

As to the intent of post, it's not unusual for tourists to be approached and asked for soap, toothpaste, common medicines, etc. What one must think about is the askers are often found every day doing this begging on the street, so their purpose may be more remunerative than actually assisting their family.

And some other medically related scarcities also exist - e.g. decent compression stockings used by those with peripheral circulatory issues, for example.



You are totally right and of course there are some medications which cannot be obtained in Cuba. Thank you for putting it correct. But most of the otc medication can be obtained in Cuba sometimes under another brand or as a generic.

Each country has different preferences when it comes to medications. I just learned that many of my US friends are using Oxycodone in high doses and they are surprised and upset that doctors in Germany are not giving them prescriptions.
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Old Jan 6, 14, 2:59 pm
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You make a very good point - when traveling to Cuba (or anywhere else) it's a good idea to take a prescription - and the name(s) of the medication one wants in generic form. In the pharmacies / chemists' there I saw as many as five or six proprietary names for one medication, Doxycycline* (as well as the generic, of course).

*Wiki shows Vibramycin as well as Monodox, Microdox, Periostat, Vibra-Tabs, Oracea, Doryx,[2] Vibrox, Adoxa, Doxyhexal, Doxylin, Doxoral, Doxy-1 and Atridox as some of the available proprietary or brand names for doxycycline.

Originally Posted by carpetbagger View Post
You are totally right and of course there are some medications which cannot be obtained in Cuba. Thank you for putting it correct. But most of the otc medication can be obtained in Cuba sometimes under another brand or as a generic.

Each country has different preferences when it comes to medications. I just learned that many of my US friends are using Oxycodone in high doses and they are surprised and upset that doctors in Germany are not giving them prescriptions.
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Old Jan 8, 14, 10:45 am
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Sending packages to Cuba is not a Problem

if you happen to be anywhere near Miami. I am not sure about other places.
You can send anything you want, and they would be delivered to the person, there are many many companies who do this on a commercial basis.
I am a doctor who travel between these two countries on a regular basis. It is true that there are shortages in Cuba but there is also great solidarity among people to help one another, If someone is begging you for things, you know that he is doing it for some nefarious pursuit rather than strict shortage. It has been a very long time since there has been a shortage of soap, shampoo etc in Cuba!
I also bring cuban medicines sent by the relatives in Cuba to their recently migrated family in Miami, because they cannot afford to buy the medications in Miami. Without doubt one of the aspects the recent emigres miss about cuba is the easy access to doctors, there are no villages without a doctor, in the cities every block has a doctor and a consultation office.
sending packages to cuba is not against the law, and but the postal system is not reliable, so don't send anything by mail even letters which may take two months from Miami to Cuba. Sending packages including letters, DVD players, laptop computers all are possible, prices vary of course, through these specialized agencies.
Also please don't send expensive antibiotics since in Cuba many of the common infections still respond well to penicillin and ampicillin. Multivitamins, Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Motrin like medications are all in demand and appreciated.
For those cubans who have access to CUC, any medication is available at selected pharmacies.
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Old Jan 9, 14, 7:13 pm
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There are some good points there, cochinjew. Thanks for sharing your experiences and perspective.

Unfortunately, the OP was inquiring about the U S Postal Service, and that is a problem with mail to Cuba.

For now, the best news is possibly for the near future. The US and Cuba have engaged in talks that include the re-establishment of US-Cuban postal service between the two countries. (See post for further information.)

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 11, 14 at 10:14 am Reason: add current USPS - Correos de Cuba situation
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