Travel to Cuba!

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Writes Bill Engel:

I’m a Canadian and there are few restrictions on travel to Cuba from Canada. There are more restrictions on the return journey, taxes, duties, import restrictions, etc. From what I have seen, Americans can travel to Cuba, they just have to depart from a non-US departure point. (fly/drive to Canada, and depart for CUBA from a Canadian airport, (on a non US airline) – other countries as well, just not direct from the US).

The Cubans are always portrayed as the bad guys; I think the US embargo is the culprit. An interesting question: who has vested interests in maintaining this embargo, and what products are involved? (seems its always about $$) Some years ago the Cuban government re-wrote their constitution and removed all ‘communist/soviet’ references.

I suggest you do a low profile (tourist) visit to Cuba. Get a VISA credit card issued from a Canadian or European (non US affiliated) bank for use in Cuba, as the US has blocked ALL banking transactions that involve US banks – most Master Cards, etc. They do accept US currency.

There are several Canadian tour companies that offer All-In vacations. Travel for tourists with-in Cuba is pretty much un-restricted. Hire a cab and go. Varadero is a good start point, fair amenities, reasonably priced, not too far from Havana. I suggest staying at an older hotel, not at one of the new ones that are way down the peninsula. Walk around the market, take some of the tours, lay on the beach and drink rum. We have been there a few times, quite an eye opener.

12:32 pm on April 16, 2013