Our Man in Havana and Impact of Latest Trump Crackdown  

Updated June 4, 2019  

On Tuesday, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new restrictions limiting Americans’ ability to freely travel to Cuba. The key change was to eliminate visa approval for Americans seeking to visit the island on a cruise or using a private boat or private aircraft. Cruise travel had become the primary mode of tourism for Americans. Also, the Administration eliminated one category of approved group travel, the People-to-People license.  

“There are still a number of ways to legally visit Cuba,...

Cuba Gets Stiffed By Trump Administration

We hiked in the shadow of Morro Castle, standing silent guard over Havana -- to Plaza Viejo in old town.  And then commuted back and forth in vintage Forties and Fifties Chevys, Dodges and Fords between the Capitol and the iconic Hotel Nacional (see photo).
When stormy weather struck, we dodged towering breakers along the romantic Malecon seawall in Vedado (see photo). And along the way we talked to taxi drivers, waitresses, concierges and of course bar tenders and they whispered the bleak secret of the Cuban New Year. There are considerably less Americans in Cuba this year.

Trump Sets Door Ajar For Aspiring Cuba Travelers

  Tony Randgaard traveled to Cuba twice recently under the relaxed U.S. travel restrictions. The New York Times and CNN report that President Trump is poised to narrow the Obama loopholes that have enabled thousands of Americans to visit the lost-in-time island since fall of last year. Take in his latest adventure and Minnesota travel tips—before it’s too late.
I got off the bus in downtown Havana wearing a Gustavus Tennis tee, high hopes and a Cheshire cat smile, cultivated by two months of meticulous planning. I stepped into a frothing stew of pedestrians, vintage Fifties Ford and Chevy taxis, three wheel bicycle cabs and street peddlers. Not to worry, I had been...

Sully in Cuba -- Is This The Next Seminal Moment for Cuba Travel?

Not a bad deal — Key West-Havana for only $100 one way? The brochure beckoning you to “Travel The Comfortable Way.” And then Vic Chenea, the airline representative, crowing about the wide wicker seats, sweeping glass windows and even free bags -- before plying you with rum on the airline’s tab. Who wouldn’t jump on that type of personal service? You’re in and a convenient return time from Havana at 3:55 p.m. to boot. What could go wrong? Well it started with the rain and low visibility out of Havana. And then wondering by 5:00 p.m. -- isn’t the flight supposed to be one hour? By 5:15 p.m. the pilot and mechanic are using binoculars to look for Florida and then asking if you can help find the Sand Key Lighthouse...

Open the Cockpit Door or I'll Kill You!


Airlines Bum Rush For Havana—No Guns at Their Heads This Time
Bouncing through First Class, Northwest Flight attendant Margaret Burt could have popped right off the silver screen as another Rachel McAdams. Or maybe a Catch Me If You Can stewardess with that plaid pillbox hat framing her cherubic face, and blond hair pinned up in a stylish bob. A little surprised when she offered the swarthy-looking man in the first row his Regal Imperial dinner, and he asked for aspirin instead? Later during initial descent into Miami, Burt reminded him to fasten his seat belt. Sure, that could occasionally irritate...