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I have a chance to go to Cuba next year and fish for tarpon. And yes, I would use a 2-hander. NO clue about the "rules" for going there, or exactly how to go about it. Any ideas or contacts would really help me make my decision.
 

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I think there still are restrictions upon travel by US citizens to Cuba. See: http://www.cubalinda.com/English/Sections/HowCubaUS.asp

The way US citizens usually do it is through Mexico. Canada might work as well. Since you need a visa to enter Cuba, you have to be sure they do not attach it to your passport.

There is an Italian tourist/fishing trip company -- I think it is called Avalon -- that has been handling tarpon fishing trips to Cuba for years. Contact them for the real skinny.
 

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yup Avalon has a live aboard boat in Jardines de la reina.

its supposed to be unbelievable fishing. I know folks in the UK who have been.

As far as I know US Citizens are prohibited. But apparently some brave souls buy a return ticket to Nassau and pay cash for a plane ticket to cuba.

obviously, you cannot use credit cards or travelers checks drawn on a US bank there.

I understand that the law breakers may actually pay the Italian company direct in Italy or through a UK agent ;)

allegedly.
 

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Don't know about the fishing, although I read about this trip, sounds amazing.

I probably know 10 people from the U.S. that have traveled to Cuba and non of them have run into any problems. I think Toronto, Cancun or Mexico City are the easiest gateways.
 

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Avalons has one of the best operations for fly anglers in Cuba (shop I work at has been sending anglers to Avalons operations for years.....shameless plug)

Do not try going through Canada to get there. Canadian Authorities have started reporting American passports to the americans. Best bet is Mexico, but even then you cannot get the flight booked with your own credit card..
 

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Avalon

Getting to Cuba is really easy. Avalon will take care of everything for you once you get to Cancun. They have a represntative who meets you at the airport. The visa into Cuba is given to you when you get your ticket from Cancun to Havanna. The trick is getting back.

There are two issues coming back. One is to get the Mexican authorities to not stamp your passport. Usually putting $10 dollars or so in the passport and saying quietly "no stamp por favor" does the trick. The second and most serious issue is coming back into the US. On the entry documents they ask you what countries you have visited. If you just say Mexico, which most people do, you have commited a crime and if caught can get in pretty serious trouble. If you say Cuba they can really hassle you and try and fine you up to $10k. I know someone who did the latter and demanded a court date and he was never tried because there was no money for the feds to prosecute. That was under the Clinton Admin. I know several people who have gone illegally and said Mexico only on the document and never got caught. Tough choice.
 

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My experience when trying to book a one day outing in med February, is that Avalon is the only outfit that is licensed by the Cuban government to charter for tourists. You apparently cannot book any other way. I've also heard that Avalon is so militant about it that they will confiscate any gear if you're found fishing without them. They also would not do one day trips and I think the minimum was three and then seven. They were not at all willing to compromise when I contacted them. Once I got to my destination (Cayo Largo) I went down to the marina around midday and saw all of their boats still tied up, go figure.
 

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I have a chance to go to Cuba next year and fish for tarpon. And yes, I would use a 2-hander. NO clue about the "rules" for going there, or exactly how to go about it. Any ideas or contacts would really help me make my decision.
If you do it, please post a report. I guess guys have used two handed rods, but I am curious how it works for tarpon.
 

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Problems? You bet.

Imagine if you will what it would be like if you were in the situation that an associate was in...

American citizen. In Cuba, through Mexico. Passport stolen in Cuba. Now what?

Go to Canadian Embassy, beg for them to contact U.S. State Department. New Passport arrives via official satchel from Quebec to Embassy (or Consulate) in Havanna. Then come home and face the music. Sure isn't a Cuban or Mexican jail, but a Federal Felony none the less. Lost their job, lost their home because of lost job, having hard time taking care of family because of working two jobs now.

I'm heading to Miami soon. My young son needs to learn of the world that's changing. I'll have a Cafe Cubano and a purro with the old men on Calle Ocho in Little Havanna. We will talk of the old Batista days and Kennedy. We will talk of the day when they can go back home, and I too can go, fish, drink Mojitos and smoke a good purro. Drink and smoke and laugh where Papa did.

Until then President Kennedy says no. A Castro is still in power and they remain believers in the cause while their people suffer. I for one will not defy the embargo. I will not risk criminal prosecution. I will not support a black market economy where the people suffer and the wealthy live above it all (Italian or not).

Plenty of old cars, mint drinks, decent cigars, and tarpon (a fish you can't even eat!) elsewhere.

CUBA LIBRE!

...my two cents.
 

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The US did business with and allowed travel to Russia when it was the communist USSR. The US does business with and allows travel to China, our second or third largest trading partner, and the biggest communist nation and violator of human rights on the planet. I think US citizens should be free to travel to Cuba to fish or whatever, and that this government of the people should be accountable to, and make sense to, its citizens about this brainless, not to mention ineffective 50 year embargo. Fish where you want seems intuitively American to me.

Sg
 

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What?

Alaskan,
Why would the Department of State be after your associate? It is not illegal for a US citizen to go to Cuba unless they went to train with an organization deemed a terrorist group by the US. It is illegal to spend money in Cuba and thus is under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Treasury. I have never heard of a person being charged with a felony for going to Cuba. Please give specific information about your story.
 

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Details as I know them

A shorter visit of a week turned into a month. Their travel partner came back and left him/her there because of work. The replacement, obtained through the U.S. State Department as I understand it, took a month through channels to get to him/her.

There was a Federal violation. Conviction. Loss of job, forcing the sale of the home. Quite a chain of events. I was not their lawyer, just a removed associate watching the train wreck.

We all make our own decisions. I long for the day for Cuba libre, liberty for Cuba. I hope it happens before I die so I can visit.

I'm sure the travel can be done easily. I'm sure the vast majority of people get away with it. I'm pretty sure that the government is not looking for American coming back from Cuba. Cigars probably even come back, only without the labels, taken off before U.S. Customs. They may be watching for some people. Wasn't there a documentary producer, Michael Moore who did a piece critical of George Bush, Jr. and when he returned from Cuba was charged with a crime?

Maybe the best way to find out the law is to ask the State Department for the necessary documents for travel to Cuba for a fishing trip. See what happens. ;-)
 

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The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department is where you apply for legal license to go to Cuba. The OFAC is the branch that levies the fines for going illegally. The State Dept. has nothing to do with it. What federal law was supposedly broken?
 

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Bookrain, i had been to Cuba and know all the destinations of Avalon.

Answering your question......yes, there are a few anglers that bring the 2h for SW fishing. But i saw switch rods ..not the "standard" 2h rod.

Like we says......a pic more than a 1000 of words.



regards

Cristián

About USA cititizens at cuba.....i know more than a few that make the trip.
 

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Cristian,
Is that a switch, or the Helios 11 or 12 with the extended foregrip and extended fighting butt?

Look identical to a switch, but are still a 9 footer.
 
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