Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Americans have flown directly to Cuba for many years

To the Editor:

(Editor’s note: Ian Sergeant, director of Soltura Cuba Travel, read online an article in the May 2015 Regal Courier called “Exploring the Culture of Cuba” about Summerfield residents Bill and Marian Dunlap visiting the country in January 2015 and submitted this information Sept. 3)

Hello, I just wanted to express that I found this to be a great article, providing a basic perspective, but informative.

To clear up a couple of details, U.S. Americans have indeed been able to fly directly to Cuba from the U.S. for many years. For example, Cuba AyUUda, a former Portland-based not-for-profit, began leading tours in 2003, taking direct charter flights out of Miami.

The recent policy changes make it easier for U.S. Americans to visit Cuba, as now we can simply self-report that we were there for one of several legally sanctioned purposes, but we must be able to provide proof for five years of having led a full-time schedule of activities that fall under that legally recognized category of travel.

Cubans living in the U.S. have also been able to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Cuba for several years. The OFAC guidelines can be found here: http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf.

Please feel free to get in touch in the future with any questions that you might have regarding Cuba. I have been leading OFAC-sanctioned culturally immersive trips to Cuba since 2008, and since I spend a good part of the year based in Cuba, I can give you an informed and balanced perspective from the streets of Havana.


Ian Sergeant

Director, Soltura Cuba Travel