**Trump policy changes announced June 16, 2017**

President Trump has ordered a reversal of some of the Obama-era changes to Cuba policy. It is important to know that none of these changes will go into effect until the Trump administration adopts new regulations, probably sometime within the next three months. On June 16, the Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a fact sheet that answers some FAQs and states explicitly that the changes do not go into effect immediately. 

The information below will be updated as more information becomes available but for now, it is still accurate and group trips are still scheduled although some travel agencies are not accepting new individual people-to-people reservations even though such travel is legal until new regulations are adopted. Marazul Travel, for example, is not accepting them but it appears that OnCuba Travel is. In addition, as of June 22, it appeared that travel consolidators and individual airlines were still accepting individual reservations. 

Also see our updates page for news about the changes.

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Individual travel: flights to Cuba can now be booked online, including trips originating in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The only difference between booking a flight to Cuba and anywhere else is the final step requiring you to check a box indicating the reason you're traveling. The initial enthusiasm among airlines that Cuba would be a huge moneymaker has faded, but bargain prices are still available. Kayak, Cheapair and Delta all listed flights to Cuba as of April 2017. 

Group travel: Traveling with a group is usually the best way for individuals who are unfamiliar with Cuba to learn more about the country, since groups have access to Cuban sites, organizations and events that are often not available to individuals. Some of the groups organizing solidarity delegations and less expensive group travel are listed below this section.

Regulations: On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Treasury updated its fact sheet with information on the embargo, including detailed travel facts. This is the latest in a series of regulatory changes that began with the December 17, 2014, announcement by President Obama signaling changes in U.S. policy on travel to Cuba. Also useful is a document from the Congressional Research Service on February 7, 2017, entitled "Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances." 

While "tourism" is still prohibited, the longstanding travel prohibitions have been considerably relaxed, principally because the licensing categories generally do not require a "specific" license, only a "general" license. This means that travelers need not apply to the U.S. government for permission to go; they need only designate on a questionnaire which category of travel they qualify for. Most of the categories require that specific records of the qualified travel be kept, but this has not been enforced for some time. 

General: 
A group of travel organizations and other entities have recently formed an organization called RESPECT, "Responsible and Ethical Cuba Travel," which has adopted guidelines whose "aim is to make US travel to Cuba part of the global movement for ethical travel . . . particularly important in supporting Cuba’s goal to become a sustainable destination for mutual learning and benefit.” We encourage Cuba travelers to use providers that adhere to these principles. 

Be aware that you must purchase health insurance to travel to Cuba since the U.S. embargo prevents your policy from covering you there, and you must also buy a Cuban visa. Typically, your travel provider will make them available or provide information on how to obtain them.

More FAQs answered here.


   
Upcoming annual and special trips

July (although the official deadline has passed for most of these trips, spots may still be available. Contact the organization listed to find out.)

Pastors for Peace is planning its annual July travel challenge from July 11 to July 28. 

The Venceremos Brigade is planning its annual travel challenge for July 15 to August 2.

The African Awareness Association will travel to Guantanamo, Santiago and Havana from July 22 - July 30.

Witness for Peace Midwest is organizing an Art, Gender and Holistic Health Care delegation from July 21 - July 30.

U.S. Cuba Labor Exchange, July 21 - August 1, $1,650 from Cancun.

September
November
"
500 Years of Cuban History and Culture" led by Alberto Jones, will visit five Cuban cities November 10 - 17.


Minnesota-based Travel
            


Click here for a report on a January 2017 trip organized by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development in collaboration with MN Senator Patricia Torres Ray

   

   
Travel agencies and travel groups
 
Some of the organizations providing group travel
Companies providing individual travel as well as servicing groups
Cuba Travel Services
Marazul Travel 

  

   
Travel Challenges
 
Pastors for Peace and the Venceremos Brigade take unlicensed delegations to Cuba each year as a way of challenging the embargo. In recent years, the US government has not interfered with these trips.