October 29th will mark 55 years of the US embargo on Cuba. This failed policy intended to bring political change to the island has also left American’s unable to enjoy this Caribbean gem. Just two years ago baby steps were made towards normalizing relations with Cuba. While American’s still weren’t able to visit the island for tourism, they could visit under the People to People category of the OFAC general licenses. American’s could conduct self-led people to people trips, and keep their detailed and scheduled itinerary. However under the current administration we took a step back and now American’s must use an agency to travel there, with an American representative present at all times while on the island.
The general license offers 12 categories of travel, each requiring their own documentation that must be kept for 5 years incase of audit. While it may seem easy to call it a religious trip, for example, there are requirements such as a letter from your place of worship and a representative who falls under US jurisdiction present. Get audited and don’t have have the correct documents and you will be facing a $10,000 fine.
If you fall under 1 of the 12 categories it is important to NOT request a license from the treasury department. Any request which qualifies under the general license will be automatically denied wasting time and money.
Heart Compass Retreats offers OFAC complaint tours at affordable prices. Each of our tours are designed not only to comply with the law, but to suit the needs of the individual traveler. We walk you through each step of the very easy process and provide all documentation.