I was under the impression that it's perfectly legal to visit Cuba, the only hitch being that it's illegal to spend any money as that would violate the sanctions...? Jpatokal 22:03, 21 Sep 2004 (EDT)
It's all explained (using gratuitously threatening language) in the US State Department link  I added. Generally though, I suspect they only go after conspicuous violators like peace activists. (I should probably add similar notes to North Korea and Iran, since I believe they are also on the "thou shalt not visit" list). -- Colin 23:46, 21 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I was under the same impression that Jpatokal had. I thought the only legal way to get in is if a non-US resident paid for trip, however, the American traveler would be prohibited from repaying the costs or working them off. Sapphire 23:43, 15 Apr 2005 (EDT)
That is strictly correct - though the traveller would need to prove they had not spent money (onus on them, not the US government). -- Beardo 01:11, 20 Feb 2006 (EST)
Cuba eXPlorer — Information about Cuba (mostly related to travel), picture galleries, daily news, forums, a directory of cubans sites and more]
Cuba Maps — Maps of all the provinces of Cuba, and maps of the major cities.]
Visas and legal issues
It was wrongly stated that the tourist card fee is payable on departure. There is a separate CUC 25 departure tax.
It is stated "Usually, your travel agency will give you a discount of those 25 CUC when booking an holiday arrangement." I don't believe that is true, and intend to delete the statement unless others can say that it is correct.
It was stated that the tourist card can be extended twice - again, not true - only one extension. (Unless everyone else that writes has got it wrong.)
The gas prices were wrong. I can't recall the correct price for Regular - I'll check tomorrow.
I have taken out "Some advise to take Euros (EUR), because EUR exchange rate seems to be about 10% better than of US dollars. (Official rate in December 2005 was 1CUC=1.04 EUR=0.89 USD (before surcharge)). However taking the exchange rates between the USD and EUR into account the actual difference is only 5% and then still you have to pay commission when exchanging your USD into EUR." because it was confusing, may change from week to week and was a written from a US point of view.
Our comrade Fidel has made it illegal to convert USD into the local currency. Euros are preferred now, especially since it's a legal currency to use in Cuba. Hmmm. I wonder if OFAC would really know if I went to Cuba. 220.127.116.11 18:25, 28 March 2006 (EST)
This is not correct. It is legal to change USD into CUC, but there is an 11% surcharge. I don't know whether it is legal to spend USD in Cuba instead of CUC, though I suspect not. --Dawnview 03:34, 22 April 2006 (EDT)
10% surcharge on USD actually. Euros are accepted in some specific tourist areas. But in general there is no specific advantage to Euros. Any major currency will do - Euro, CAD, GBP - if you come from one of those countries, bring your home currency and change it here. [The issue with dollars is that Cuba needed to change large amounts of notes via a friendly bank, and the US has cracked down on that.] -- Beardo 18:44, 5 May 2006 (EDT)
Too much in the past; too much US. Why should a traveller want to visit Cuba now. The equivalent on world66 is a lot better. -- Beardo 23:36, 27 March 2006 (EST)
I think the history ("was a US-traveller destination, but now banned") is interesting, but you are right that the focus should be on today's traveller. Wikitravel:The traveller comes first. -- Colin 14:03, 28 March 2006 (EST)
What is the train company in Cuba? Please leave this info on my talk page, as it's highly unlikely I will return to this article unless Bush stops his screwing around on foreign policy. Vote for Roosevelt 1944! Sapphire 18:26, 28 March 2006 (EST)
The quick facts from the CIA World Fact Book list Cuba is a Communist State, but is this correct? I read somewhere (I think it was the Lonely Planet) that after the fall of the USSR, the Cuban constitution was amended to remove all references to Marxism. Though I also see that in the 2002 amendment to the constitution, the principles of socialism were reaffirmed. What exactly can we put for Government in the quick facts? --Dawnview 03:45, 22 April 2006 (EDT)
From Wikipedia "Cuba is a socialist republic, in which the Communist Party of Cuba is the sole legal political party" If the Communist party is the only permitted political party I would call Cuba a Communist state. Sapphire 03:51, 22 April 2006 (EDT)
Except, if the official policy of the state is not communist (the 1992 amendments recognizes property ownership, for example) it can hardly be called a communist state. Having only one legal political party makes it undemocratic, but not necessarily communist. There are plenty of countries in the world that fall into that category.
The 1992 (and as far as I can tell the 2002 retains this) constitution has the following text under Article 5:
The Communist Party of Cuba, a follower of Martí’s ideas and of Marxism-Leninism, and the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the highest leading force of society and of the state, which organizes and guides the common effort toward the goals of the construction of socialism and the progress toward a communist society.
I guess that settles it. Who knows if official policy really follows this, but then if it doesn't, Cuba wouldn't be the only country in the world to ignore its constitution. :) --Dawnview 04:21, 22 April 2006 (EDT)
This is a terribly complicated subject. The Cuban Communist Party is not really like a political party in capitalist countries (and it is questionable how communist it is, too). Having only one legal party does not necessarily make elections undemocratic - candidates do not need to belong to the party, the party does not choose candidates. The Wikipedia definition is an attempt to be factually accurate. Cuba permits private assets, there is a form of property ownership (though no right to sell property), different jobs get paid different salaries (though differences aren't as wide as in some countries). -- Beardo 19:09, 5 May 2006 (EDT)
"Communist" can refer to two vaguely related governmental systems: first, the original utopian fantasy of Karl Marx, and secondly the USSR and all governments derived from that system. Being a fantasy, the former was never much seen in the real world. So the use of "communist" in a travel guide unambiguously means "a governmental system derived from the USSR's governmental system." Talk of stuff like private property is a red herring since you are referring to the Marxian fantasy definition. What matters here is that "communist state" is a shorthand to the traveler that means "government similar to USSR" which is acurate and informs the traveller much faster than writing a treatsie on the exact details of the Cuban government. -- Colin 19:49, 5 May 2006 (EDT)
Surely there is enough here that we don't need the outline note ?