State Department takes to Twitter and answers your Cuba travel questions

All of the critical details you need to brush up on.


Curt Hopkins


Published Jun 25, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 11:51 am CDT

The recent relaxation of travel rules for Americans who want to visit Cuba has inspired a big jump in interest and activity. In fact, the jump is so high that the tourism officials of other Caribbean countries are worried it will drain the income they rely on from visiting Americans.

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The simplified travel rules outlined in December included dropping the need to obtain a special, restricted travel license. The categories for legitimate travel also expanded to 12, including family, religious, and educational activities.

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As Miami’s WLRN news noted, there is a bill wending its way through the Senate that would make tourist travel—plain old, everyday tourist travel—legal. But it’s far from law.

And this is the American government we’re talking about, though. (Hashtag big fat bureaucracy.) So Americans might be forgiven for being pretty sure if they check the wrong box on their form they’ll wind up in Guantanamo with a Disney villain as a cellmate, instead of dando un paseo por el Malecón.

To obviate some of these fears, the U.S. State Department hosted a Q&A on Twitter. Potential travelers fired questions at the @TravelGov account using the hashtag #AskTravelGov.  

Some of the more interesting questions included these. OFAC is the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

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You still need a license to travel to Cuba but you can approve yourself.

The time has not come where you can take Trixie, Dildorf, Bong, and Hutch and fanny pack your stroller into the jungle with no more than a passport. 

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“Foreplay” asks perhaps the most important question in U.S.-Cuba relations. 

Make it $100 worth of cigars and $300 worth of guayabera shirts and songo records. 

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 Better safe than sorry. 

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

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*First Published: Jun 25, 2015, 7:14 pm CDT