The so-called required categories for Americans to travel to Cuba should be clarified.
For one thing, airport inspectors couldn’t care less about them.
Not all the travel agencies require you to fill out a form, either, but if you do, you can dream up a name for an “immediate family member.”
What is an “immediate family member?” Few people realize how elastic that term can be.
The “rules” specify that anyone related to you by blood, adoption or marriage, going back three generations, falls into that category.
Three of us went to Cuba twice, beginning in 2006, and had no problems.
However, we went through Canada, not to circumvent regulations, but because we had family business in the Toronto area. Another family member went directly from Miami, twice, in 2011.
On her first return, nobody asked anything.
The second time, the inspector said, half-jokingly, “You’re not Cuban, are you?” She smiled and said “No,” and he waved her through, along with her government-sealed box of cigars.
Ironically, after her last trip, they made private import of cigars and rum legal. She used Marazul Travel, because it had been in operation the longest.
More Americans should go there and patronize private businesses, which were hard to find in 2006. By 2011, they were all over the place.