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The Law

"The right to travel is a part of the liberty of which the citizen cannot be deprived without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment"... Justice William O. Douglas, Kent v. Dulles (1958)

For the past forty years United States citizens have been barred from spending U.S. dollars in Cuba. Not travelling to Cuba per se... but... from spending money in Cuba!.

This is an economic embargo that many people feel is an attempt to put a stranglehold on United States tourism to Cuba. With a General License or a Specific License certain Americans are allowed to travel legally, and spend money legally in Cuba, and those who don't are not allowed legally to spend money in Cuba without posssibly being subjected to fines and penalties by the United States government. If you don't like that rule you might consider writing your President, Congressmen or Senators and tell them what you think!

The Office of Foreign Assets Control "OFAC", a division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, enforces the Cuba travel embargo. The rules are called Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and are part of the Trading With The Enemy Act.

The regulations by themselves do not prohibit Americans travelling to Cuba. A 1963 version of the law created an outright ban on travel to Cuba, but was found to violate the United States Constitution.

Under the Cuban assets Control Regulations that are enforced through the Trading With the Enemy Act, you should be aware that spending money relating to Cuban travel is prohibited unless the traveller is licensed.

The regulations direct that only authorized travellers are allowed to spend money in Cuba. The current allowable spending per diem is approximately $183.00 per day for food, lodging, and transportation. For up to date changes in the per diem allowed visit "Current Per Diems". The amounts allowable do change, so be current on the law. For up to date spending allowances contact the Office of Allowances (Telephone #202/663-1121).

The Office of Foreign Assets Control "OFAC", can be reached at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.(Tel.#202/622-2520), and in Miami, Florida (Tel.#305/810-5140).

A highly useful non-government information resource is The Latin American Working Group, a coalition of over sixty religious, human rights, policy, grassroots and development organizations.

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