Getting to Cuba Just Got Harder

The Trump Administration recently announced some expanded travel restrictions for Cuba, because, ya know… they are super, super, super duper a threat to our way of life and, also, he’d like to keep Florida red in 2020.


I talked with Kristen Tripp, Program Director for Cuba at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures and I asked her what the impact of this latest news would be on their program.

First, Kristen expressed her frustration and sorrow for the people of Cuba who have been through a lot, make due with very little and are certainly being hurt by some of these very backward looking policies. There’s a shortage of just about everything in Cuba, including chickens, and people really are being put through unnecessary harm.

Awesome shot by Jim Klug in Cuba, 2012.

Second, Kristen explained that things have changes since I went to Cuba back in 2012. The whole operation has worked hard to make their trips legal (read, not just sneaking in from Mexico). This new policy makes that harder, but not impossible and they’ll be trying very hard to maintain above-board Cuban trips this year and into the future. Trips are still being booked to Cuba and any already on the books are grandfathered in. Still, there will be changes and the exact fall-out is a bit still to be worked out.

Cuba was a fantastic experience for me… one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It was pretty obvious how bad the Cuban people were hurting back then and it hasn’t gotten better since. It is all a travesty and I hope some intelligence seeps into our Cuban policy that doesn’t revolve around Presidential politics.

Photo by Matt Hansen… me, seconds after losing a really, really nice fish.

For the latest developments, there are few people better suited to answer your questions than the folks at Yellow Dog and Kristen in particular.

I’m not the only one who thinks this is a bad idea. So does Foreign Policy (that liberal rag). The Guardian thinks sanctions don’t work. Fortune seems to think it is a bad idea.

It is bad policy… a failed policy that didn’t work for 50 years. Let’s get past this.

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  1. This really is frustrating. Cuba is a place I’d really like to visit, and beyond that they deserve better from the U.S.
    When will we learn?

  2. Yes I feel for you, and the Cuban people. Just not quite as much as I feel for my Grandfather who after being tortured had his land confiscated, and was forced to flee to Florida with the clothes on his back post the revolution. But he was lucky as two brothers did not make it out and never heard from again. Solid take on the situation – used to enjoy your blog, but your Berniesque POV these days makes this site unreadable…

  3. bonefishbjorn

    We engage with a people to change the situation… nothing gained by pulling back. I mean… how many years has it been? How effective has it been? The embargo and prohibitions have not dislodged the government there. Thinking that just one more year will do it is the definition of insanity.

    Sorry you dislike the take, but that’s the truth of it. These new restrictions hurt the Cuban people who are there now and they are pure politics and a failed policy at that.

    To pretend politics doesn’t have anything to do with fishing is to bury your head in the sand.

  4. bonefishbjorn

    I’d add… I’m really not very political on the blog… like, hardly at all. You don’t need to be a Bernie supporter to see a failed policy is a failed policy. That’s hardly a radical socialist position. It would fit within the Libertarian platform, as far as I read it, to leave Cuba alone.

    Looking through all my posts this year… there’s nothing political in there.

  5. I assume that you would use the same logic for other countries where engaging with the people is the way to change things. That being the case I wait breathlessly for your next article on lifting unfair trade restrictions on North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela. I am sure you agree that people are suffering in those countries as well (just maybe not the same fishing opportunities).

    And NO Fishing is not political – unless vapid SJW’s like yourself choose to make it political

    Another former reader

  6. bonefishbjorn

    Places like Vietnam and China? You think it is better to allow Iran to create a narrative where we are their enemy as opposed to catering to the urban youth in Tehran who long for change?

    Of course fishing is political.

    We have reached the time in the life of the planet, and humanity’s demand upon it, when every fisherman will have to be a river-keeper, a steward of marine shallows, a watchman on the high seas. We are beyond having to put back what we have taken out. We must put back more than we take out. – Thomas McGuane

    You are a reader that has commented exactly 0 times in a decade.

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