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Two Steps Forward to Cuba, One Step Back

Are more U.S.-flagged boats daring to defy their government’s ridiculous prohibition against travel to Cuba?

© 2010 Carmen Miranda

In the March 3 ‘Lectronic, we reported that a couple of Ha-Ha’ers had taken their boat to Cuba, not necessarily in defiance of the U.S. Treasury Department’s prohibition against "trading with the enemy," but nonetheless in violation of it.

Yesterday, we received word that another skipper, who has frequently contributed to Changes in Latitudes, has also taken his boat to Cuba. Not that his 400-mile passage from the Bay Islands in Honduras wasn’t a nasty one. "Good morning from the forbidden land," he writes. We’re going to withhold his name, too, until he confirms that he doesn’t mind it getting into government hands.

There are only 15 marinas in Cuba, the largest and best known being Marina Hemingway, nine miles west of Havana.

© 2010 Marina Hemingway

As some of you may have known, the Sarasota YC in Florida has been been promoting a sailing event to Havana to be held in May. Alas, we just checked their website and learned that it’s been postponed until "the spring of ’11." So that’s surely a step backwards.

This list of Cuba’s ports of entry can also be found at Marina Hemingway’s website.

© 2010 Marina Hemingway

Nevertheless, just the other day we got an email from our old friend José Escrich, Commodore of the Hemingway International YC. He wanted to extend a formal welcome to all readers of Latitude 38 to come and visit his island with their boats. He also wants everyone to know that the website is up and running, and he’ll be writing a blog to answer all questions concerning the facilities and nautical activities available to all vessels that call on the club. In addition, the site also has a video of the presentations he made at the International Superyacht Society and the Seakeepers Society during the Miami International Boat Show. Furthermore, the site contains the most detailed information we’ve seen yet on which Americans are allowed — by the American government — to visit Cuba legally. It could have only taken legislators and lawyers in Washington, D.C. to come up with such a rubbish prohibition pockmocked with endless loopholes. Check it out.

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