Despite the apartheid Castro regime’s decision to surrender to public pressure and eliminate one of their discriminatory policies, they have plenty more of these policies of discrimination that are ready to step up and pick up the slack.
Cubans still face hurdles for Cuba Cruise
May 1st Carnival Corporation’s Fathom will depart The Port of Miami for the first scheduled cruise to Cuba in decades. This after a local uproar when Carnival revealed that they would not accept Cuban born passengers due to a Cuban government restriction. After a lawsuit was filed, street demonstrations, political commendations and a hard scramble behind the scenes by Carnival representatives the Cuban Government dropped the policy. After threatening to not sail until the issue was resolved all now is good to go. That said there are still issues for Cuban born travelers who want to book a Miami-Cuba tour.
It is important to remember that although Cuban-born people are now allowed on the boat they are still face different challenges compared to their non-Cuban counterparts even though they are United States Citizens:
- Americans visiting Cuba must present a valid passport and a special tourist card that costs $75.
- Cuban-born Americans who immigrated after January 1971 must purchase a Cuban passport — even though they have renounced their Cuban citizenship and are now U.S. citizens. These passports are valid for six years and cost $375. To keep these passports active, holders must pay $230 every two years.
- Cuban-born Americans who left Cuba before January 1971 may use their U.S. passport, but must apply for an HE-11 visa, which costs $250, lasts only 90 days and can take months to obtain.
In addition it is wise for all who are going to take the Fathom Travel Cruise ship to Cuba to plan well ahead as securing the proper paper work can be inconvenient and time consuming. The best bet is to secure the services of a knowledgeable travel agent who specializes in Cuba travel who can expedite the paper work.