The View From 32


MAY 19, 2007   

Email inviting me to Icograda General Assemblyl in HavanaHavana, here we come?

I got an email the other day inviting me to attend the General Assembly of Icograda, the International Council of Graphic Arts Organizations, in Havana, Cuba. It's free. I've never been to Cuba. Why not go?

I mentioned it to Joanne, figuring it would be hard for her to not be interested in joining me on the trip. As we talked about it, though, her initial enthusiasm changed. Since as far as I know it's still illegal for Americans to visit Cuba due to the long-standing U.S. trade embargo, she's afraid that this could put her school psychologist's license in jeopardy. Actually, it's not the visit itself that's illegal, it's spending money in Cuba that's forbidden. Interesting distinction.

It's a pretty sad situation when in this "free" country of ours we're prevented from visiting our neighbors less than 100 miles to the south.  I need to research this more, but the first article I checked made the situation sound even worse than I thought.

According to, U.S. visitors to Cuba risk a $250,000 fine and 10 years in jail. Fortunately, the article explains, this law is rarely enforced. It also seems pretty clear that my visit—as a professional attending an international organization's event—meets the requirements for "acceptable" travel to Cuba. Whether Joanne can accompany me is something we need to check.