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Cuba Bound

Cindy Loose

For decades the U.S. has restricted travel to Cuba, and while any savvy traveler used to be able to legally circumvent the restrictions, the Bush administration has made it an almost total ban, unless you are a journalist going to do a story or you have relatives in Cuba.

The American Society of Travel Agents recently estimated that if the U.S. lifted its restrictions on travel to Cuba, 1.8 million Americans would try to vacation there. Meanwhile, Congress continues to fight against the travel ban, although bills likely to pass to Congress would likely again be vetoed by Bush.

But with Castro ill and Bush within shouting distance of filling out his term, travel to Cuba is a very real possibility in the foreseeable future. Think it's a good idea to lift the ban, and would you go?

By Cindy Loose |  May 15, 2007; 10:13 AM ET  | Category:  Caribbean , Cindy Loose
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Yes to both points. One of my great regrets is that my grandmother could not travel back to Cuba to see her home before she passed on. How many more have to be denied a final visit to where they came from?

Posted by: Greg | May 15, 2007 10:31 AM

I would be there in a heartbeat. If that restriction was lifted, I would plan my trip immediately. As a dancer of cuban-style salsa, it is sad that I cannot go there to learn first-hand from the masters. The ban is ridiculous in this day and age and I hope it gets lifted when the new president is elected.

Posted by: Mama | May 15, 2007 11:01 AM

I think it is a good idea and would definitely go if it is lifted. I know quite a few people that have gone there in the last few years, either by using dual citizenship or by going through gateway countries. They had no problems, but it is a big risk with this administration. My concern is that after the ban is lifted and Castro dies there will be overdevelopment aimed at attracting Americans, which will turn parts of Cuba into a cheesy extension of Florida.

Posted by: Esingles | May 15, 2007 12:13 PM

Yes, the ban should be lifted, and YES! I'd go in a heartbeat for the very concern that Esingles mentions above - I'd like to see the "real" Cuba before the all-inclusives invade.

Posted by: Karen | May 15, 2007 1:58 PM

Seconding Karen's remark. I'd want to get there before everyone else.

Posted by: Julia | May 15, 2007 3:02 PM

my parents went a few years ago on a sponsored trip through ad-week magazine when my mom worked in advertising and then said it was amazing and it was like stepping back into the 1950s. I'd go tomorrow.

Posted by: chewy | May 15, 2007 4:01 PM

After seeing the documentary a few years back about that musical group, I'd love to go. I think everyone wants to go so quickly after it opens because they figure, rather than repairing the old buildings, they'll be torn down in a minute, and large resorts will go up in their place.

Posted by: Alice | May 16, 2007 7:52 AM

What are the current penalities for an American tourist caught going in/returning home? I was quoted $65,000. I too want the "going back in time" experience - the old cars/buildings. I recently read Cuba Diaries and Havannah Dreams - the first by a 4-year American resident who lived in Havannah with her foreign husband/2 young children while he completed a posting there for a foreign energy corporation. Very illuminating re actual condition of the best hotels, restaurants, buildings. Back in the 1970's, 80's Cuba was not quite so deteriorated. After 46 years of continual decline, I'm not sure I want to go. One can hear great live Cuban groups, enjoy superb Cuban cuisine in Little Havannah, Miami as well as other sites.

Posted by: Leslie | May 16, 2007 12:40 PM

I went on a treasury license in 1998. I don't approve of the travel ban or the embargo, and I would go again with or without the license. Cubans are not our enemies and don't deserve to be ostracized.

Posted by: Kate | May 16, 2007 12:43 PM

I am absolutely dying to visit Cuba. I'd be there tomorrow if the ban was lifted.

Posted by: Rachel | May 18, 2007 3:37 PM

It is a fantastic place. I went on a treasury license in 2004 which was the next to last trip before the ban. I experienced Cuban Jazz and the Cuban food. The experience was fantastic. Yes, I would go in a minute. I missed getting to the beaches. We are in need of some place other than Mexico to vacation that does not require days to get to.

Posted by: Ann | May 22, 2007 3:08 PM

I would go in a heartbeat. This whole Cuba ban accomplishes nothing.

Posted by: Fred | May 22, 2007 9:17 PM

Absolutely the travel ban and the US currency ban should be lifted. It is hypocritical for the US to support travel and trade with one communist country (China) and completely isolate and devastate another (Cuba). They just approved a non-stop from Dulles to Beijing, why can't one be made to Havana for those with approval?

Posted by: JD | May 23, 2007 9:15 AM

The continued ban on travel to Cuba is just another example of the continuing failed foreign policies towards the Cuban people. Even during the Cold War, we could visit the Warsaw Pact countries.

Posted by: John Visiting Delaware | May 23, 2007 2:52 PM

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