Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Cuba
Reload this Page >

US res' and citizens hindered from Cuba visas by M&T bank closure as of 17 Feb 2014

US res' and citizens hindered from Cuba visas by M&T bank closure as of 17 Feb 2014

Old Feb 15, 14, 10:45 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,269
Exclamation US res' and citizens hindered from Cuba visas by M&T bank closure as of 17 Feb 2014

BBC article

Originally Posted by in part
The Cuban government says it has suspended consular services (other than for "Humanitarian Reasons") in the United States after an American bank decided to withdraw its facilities.

Cuba says it will not be able to renew passports and process visas unless it finds an alternative to the M&T bank.

The bank said its decision was taken for business reasons.

The move is likely to prevent tens of thousands of people travelling from the US to Cuba every month and could have a big impact on the economy there.
.
JDiver is offline  
Old Feb 16, 14, 12:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: Hyatt Platinum, IHG Platinum, Aadvantage Platinum
Posts: 179
I wonder if this will impact the People to People trips. I'd think that they can get Visas on arrival. Guessing that this is going to impact Cubans who have Cuban passports and need to get Cuban Visas as well as anyone using an individual Special License, but it's unclear here.
wholelottamiles is offline  
Old Feb 17, 14, 3:19 pm
  #3  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,269
Indeed; the impact is unclear at this time. We received our visas (separate documents, not stamps in our passports, normally) when we arrived, and as we departed we turned in the paper document).

Other articles since the BBC article provide some clarifications:


Originally Posted by Miami Herald (in part)
“It also impacts Cubans in the United States who want to get their passports renewed and have documents legalized for citizenship,’’ said Vivian Mannerud, whose company Airline Brokers sells tickets and makes arrangements for trips to Cuba.

Like many local companies that sell tickets for Cuba charters, Mannerud said she has some visas on hand for upcoming trips. “But if a new group books, I don’t know if I will have enough,” she said...

Under the new timetable, the Interests Section said that Friday was the last day that M&T would accept deposits of Cuban fees for visas, passports and other services and that March 1 is the date the bank has set for closing Cuba’s accounts.

“In spite of the ​​huge efforts made, as a result of the restrictions in force, derived from the policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade by the U.S. government against Cuba, it has been impossible for the Interests Section to find a U.S.-based bank that could operate the bank accounts of the Cuban diplomatic missions,” the Interests Section said in a press release.

The U.S. State Department said that since last summer, it has been “actively working with the Cuban Interests Section to identify a new bank to provide services to the Cuban missions” and would continue to assist them as they try to find a long-term solution.

Read more here
Originally Posted by ABC in part
Armando Garcia, the owner of Marazul, one of the largest Cuba charter flight operators, said most U.S. and Cuban-American travelers planning visits to the island for the spring had gotten their documents in beforehand.

"Two, three weeks from now, people who don't have their documents up to date obviously would not be able to arrange anything unless the Cuban Interests Section resolves the problem with the bank," Garcia said.

An estimated 557,000 U.S. travelers are expected to visit Cuba in 2014, according to one estimate by the Miami-based Havana Consulting Group. Analyst Emilio Morales has projected that they will bring with them some $2 billion. Most of the travelers are Cuban Americans; a small amount is Americans taking part in licensed cultural exchange programs.

Morales said Friday he estimated 40,000 U.S. travelers would visit in March and again in April. On average, they spend about $3,100 per person — a collective $124 million each month. Link
The US Interests Section in Habana continues to operate, fortunately NOT following normal reciprocity procedures. Americans in Cuba (and Cubans looking to travel to the US) can still be served at the US Interests Section.

Originally Posted by wholelottamiles View Post
I wonder if this will impact the People to People trips. I'd think that they can get Visas on arrival. Guessing that this is going to impact Cubans who have Cuban passports and need to get Cuban Visas as well as anyone using an individual Special License, but it's unclear here.
JDiver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: