October 9, 2017
We recognize that Wildland guests and others planning to travel to Cuba would be concerned by the US State Department notice warning US citizens to avoid travel to Cuba issued September 29th, 2017. The safety and comfort of our travelers
The September 29 travel warning is based on reports of mysterious "sonic attacks" directed at Havana-based US diplomats that presumably caused unexplained health problems. These were first reported over a year ago during the Obama administration. Although the Trump administration made an additional announcement that unidentified tourists had also been impacted, no names or the sharing of any medical files or evidence in any of the claims pertaining to diplomats or tourists has been forth coming.
Although the FBI investigated and found no evidence of sonic attacks, the Trump administration has nonetheless directed the US Embassy in Havana to withdraw 60% of non-essential staff (notably those entrusted with trade and economic matters). The embassy remains open and operational to provide emergency services to US citizens in Cuba.
Here are some important considerations leading up to and about the recent travel warning:
Two professors who interviewed sound experts and looked at the matter from a different point of view suggest in their op-ed piece in the New York Times, October 10, 2017, Mysterious Sounds and Scary Illnesses as Political Tools, that inexplicable sounds and indeterminate illness underlying a travel warning bolsters a political agenda. On its merit from the standpoint of health and safety for American travelers, especially given no tourists have reported a related illness, the latest travel warning may best be considered a preventative measure. In fact, Cuba remains one of the safest nations in the world for international guests, absent of drug wars, terrorism, guns, gangs, kidnappings, and tropical pandemics. Unless more definitive and consequential information emerges, we encourage travelers to go to Cuba now to experience the beauty of this island nation and the warmth of our Caribbean neighbors.As stated in our previous blog, Frequently Asked Questions on New Cuba Travel Restrictions, we are committed more than ever to support Cubans and their families, especially those we have come to know over the years who contribute so much to the enjoyable experiences of our travelers. In recent years, many small community-based entrepreneurs have invested in tourism buying new vehicles, remodeling accommodations, building new restaurants, etc. They need and deserve our ongoing support. We believe the best foreign policy towards Cuba is to lift the U.S. embargo and respect the sovereignty and self-determination of the Cuban people. As individual travelers on people-to-people trips to Cuba, we create our own citizen-based foreign relations that bring real change to Cuban communities and renewed hope and love between neighbors, outside of the political machinations of US governmental policy.
More information about the travel warning can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/cuba-travel-warning.html
Interested in travel to Cuba? Review all our trips to Cuba or ask about your own custom itinerary. For more information call 206-365-0686 or email: