Support for the Cuban People permits independent travel. You can arrange your services with or without the assistance of an agency/guide (or a combination of both), and travel alone providing you follow the category regulations. You self-certify for this category (keeping receipts and documents for 5 years). Keeping an itinerary listing your compliant activities can be helpful.
Support the Cuban People Travel Affidavit §515.574:
Download a sample general license affidavit for individual travel categories.
WoWCuba cycling trips with independent pre or post trip extensions are covered under this category.
Providing, of course, we substitute hotels with private accommodations for license compliance.
|Take it with you while traveling.|
|Keep it on file for 5 years with receipts/itinerary corroborating compliance.|
§515.574 covers activities of individuals, human rights organizations & NGO’s that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba when travelers engage in a full-time schedule of activities (see above for definition of “full time”) that enhance contact with Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, and result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba. For compliance with the 515.574 GL, staying at hotels on the restricted entities list is prohibited. License category compliance is a result of engaging in full time activities per the license description.
Supporting the private sector can include dining at privately-owned restaurants (paladares), shopping at privately-owned small businesses (cuentapropistas), meeting with artists, farmers, talking with musicians, learning to dance, play an instrument, or taking a language class, renting a bicycle, exploring museums and local markets, visiting a local artesanal chocolate producer to learn about their processes, kayaking in protected areas with a team of locals for authentic insight, participating in cultural festivals, supporting environmental initiatives such as cleanup of plastic at beaches and donating aluminum to the elderly who return it for a fee, birdwatching with a local guide, learning more about the healthy state of Cuba’s coral reefs and invasive species from a local dive instructor, visiting a local foundation to learn about Cuba’s Climate Change initiatives, or any other means of delving into Cuban society without supporting the restricted entities. Compliance need not be complicated, expensive, or even something for which you would have to present a receipt; simply just keep a log of how you consider you complied on a daily basis.
“Example 1 to §515.574: An individual plans to travel to Cuba, stay in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eat at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shop at privately-owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) during his or her four-day trip. While at the casa particular, the individual will have breakfast each morning with the Cuban host and engage with the Cuban host to learn about Cuban culture. The traveler will not lodge, or pay for lodging, at any property on the CPA List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210. In addition, the traveler will complete his or her full-time schedule by supporting Cuban entrepreneurs launching their privately-owned businesses. The traveler’s activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Because the individual’s qualifying activities are not limited to staying in a room at a rented accommodation in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately-owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropista) and the traveler maintains a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people, supports civil society in Cuba, and promotes the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that results in meaningful interaction between the traveler and Cuban individuals, the individual’s travel qualifies for the general license.
Example 2 to §515.574: A group of friends plans to travel and maintain a full-time schedule throughout their trip by volunteering with a recognized non-governmental organization such as the Fundacion de Antonio Nuñez Jimenez to undertake environmental cleanup actions to support Cuba’s 100-year climate change plan Tarea Vida. In their free time, the travelers plan to rent bicycles to explore the streets of Havana and visit an art museum. The travelers will not lodge, or pay for lodging, at any property on the CPA List to the extent prohibited by §515.210. The travelers’ trip would qualify for the general license because the volunteer activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba and constitute a full-time schedule that enhances contact with the Cuban people and supports civil society in Cuba, and results in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba.
Example 3 to §515.574: “An individual plans to travel to Cuba, rent a bicycle to explore the neighborhoods and beaches, and engage in brief exchanges with local beach vendors. The individual intends to stay at a hotel that does not appear on the Cuba Restricted List, and will not lodge, or pay for lodging, at any property on the CPA List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210. The traveler’s trip does not qualify for this general license because none of these activities promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba.”
Note to 515.574(a): Each person relying on the general authorization in this paragraph must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §501.601 and §501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.”
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