Cuba Travel from U.S already flourishing
Unofficial tourism from the U.S. going on Cuba holidays has begun to flourish before the travel ban on U.S citizens travelling to the island has been officially lifted by the Obama administration
Undisclosed numbers and figures are showing an increase in Cuba travel from U.S. tourists, with Cuba holidays already flourishing being officially declared legal for U.S. citizens. Even when Obama has not officially changed any rules regarding non-family trips to Cuba from U.S citizens, State Department statistics show anecdotal evidence of a flow of visits and Americans taking Cuba holidays.
A good example is joan Brown Campbell, a church lady who has been to Cuba 37 times in total, except during the last Bush administration, when she could not get the required U.S. permission to visit the island for four straight years. This year she applied once again with the Obama administration granting her license to travel straight away. The U.S. Department even opened doors for her to invite several Cuban academics to visit New York. Among those who attended a conference Brown organized last month: Ofelia Ortega, a member of the Cuban national assembly.
More Americans than ever are heading down for Cuba holidays in the ``people to people'' travel excursions. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recently made the trip on a legal trade expedition, and actor Benicio Del Toro has gone at least twice since his movie ‘Che’ screened last year.
Cuba Education Tours offer many American professionals tips on how to qualify for a general research license. They offer trips over Thanksgiving, Christmas and a ``51st Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution Tour spanning New Years.''
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a critic of Obama's currently unchanged Cuba policy said: “Even though the administration hasn't yet published changes allowing more cultural and educational exchanges to and from Cuba, anecdotal evidence suggests that such loosening has already taken place. We see ads informing college students and artistic groups of planned excursions to the island. So it looks like its back to the era of two-week college courses in Cuban culture taught on the beaches of Varadero.''
On another note, very recently Colombian rocker Juanes met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in May to promote his idea for a ``concert for peace'' in Havana Sept. 20. Because the concert was free and open to the public, the State Department allowed all American musicians to participate.
Obama also ended Bush's practice of stonewalling Cuban academics traveling to the United States to attend conferences. ``Cooperation in academia is very important, and so Cuban professors felt very limited before,'' said Cuban political scientist Rafael Hernández, who got a visa to attend Brown Campbell's conference, and will be a visiting professor this semester at the University of Texas.
``Professors resented not being able go forward with that. It's too soon to tell whether there's been a real change,'' Hernández continued.
Critics say the recent boom in Cuba travel demonstrates that Obama doesn't need an official policy change offering special licenses.
``The law permits all that without a change,'' said pro-embargo lobbyist Mauricio Claver-Carone. ``There is purposeful Cuba travel. The administration has been more lax in authorizing travel than the previous administration was, but that fits the pattern with Democrats.''
But still, these slight “changes” in conduct are mainly symbolic and activists keep pushing and urging Obama to do more by officially changing the rules, not just interpreting them differently. No real boom in Americans taking Cuba holidays can be seen without a more drastic change in policy.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Enjoy the exciting nightlife the Melia Marina Varadero Hotel has to offer, whilst relaxing during the day in the beautiful accommodation
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 31st Jul 2017
- Melia Marina Varadero Hotel is ideally located 300m from the beach in an ecological reserve with a dolphinarium and caves to explore
- Incredible all-inclusive benefits with dining at 9 restaurants at Melia Marina Varadero Hotel
- Excellent watersports facilities including yachting, fishing and diving
- Book now and get a free upgrade to the sea view at Melia Habana - limited availability
A superb combination of great accommodation and exciting activities make this resort one of Cuba's hottest properties
- Book now and get a free upgrade to the sea view - limited availability
- Enjoy a complimentary Cultural Presentation
- Previous winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and ranked in the top 5 Hotels in Varadero
- Full range of Spa treatments for a more relaxing break, or a selection of water and land sports to choose from for the more active traveller
- Couples can benefit from a free bottle of sparkling wine and a romantic dinner for two, plus a 30 min massage per couple
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
The unlimited heaven of tranquility in a perfect setting
- Iberostar Parque Central Hotel is a great base to discover Havana's historic Old Town.
- Activities throughout the day at Iberostar Varadero Hotel , including aerobics, archery, basketball, beach volleyball, football, kayaking and more.
- The luxurious 5 star accommodation ensures a comfortable adventure.
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Beyond its sober elegance of Mudejar roots and the presence of round arches and red clay tile roof, it is known for its...