As we warned and expected, the Obama administration’s “people-to-people” Cuba travel policy has been one big farce, un relajo, with tour companies providing fun and touristy activities for American tourists traveling to Cuba. Well, OFAC does not cotton to those monkeyshines, and they have issued a warning to these tour companies.
Via Capitol Hill Cubans:
A Warning From OFACLet’s hope enforcement matches the warning.
From the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC):
[A] requirement of all licenses issued under section 515.565(b)(2) is that each traveler must have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. Advertising travel that appears to deviate from this requirement may prompt contact from OFAC to ensure that the people-to-people travel meets applicable requirements and thereby complies with current U.S. policy with respect to purposeful travel to Cuba. Advertisements for people-to-people travel that give the appearance that trips will focus on activities travelers may undertake off hours after their daily full-time schedule of people-to-people activities may give an incorrect impression and prompt contact from OFAC that may potentially result in a license suspension while we investigate. OFAC does not authorize transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented, including self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment, as provided in paragraph (c) of section 515.565 of the Regulations. Licensees that fail to meet the requirements of their licenses may have their licenses revoked or be issued a civil penalty, which can range up to $65,000 per violation.