In the wake over the, now resolved, flap involving Cuba’s policy of denying Cuban born citizens of any country to enter the Island Nation by sea another concern has surfaced. Cuba has on the books, as outlined by the U.S. Embassy in Havana, measures that if applied has the potential of impacting Cuban Americans visiting the island. Here is the information on the issue:
The Government of Cuba does not recognize the U.S. nationality of U.S. citizens who are Cuban-born or are the children of Cuban parents. These individuals will be treated solely as Cuban citizens and may be subject to a range of restrictions and obligations, including military service. The Cuban government may require U.S. citizens, whom the Government of Cuba considers to be Cuban, to enter and depart Cuba using a Cuban passport. Using a Cuban passport for this purpose does not jeopardize one’s U.S. citizenship; however, such persons must use their U.S. passports to enter and depart the United States. There have been cases of Cuban-American dual nationals being forced by the Cuban government to surrender their U.S. passports. Despite these restrictions, Cuban-American dual nationals who fall ill may only be treated at hospitals for foreigners (except in emergencies). See the paragraph below on Consular Access for information on Cuba’s denial of consular services to dual American-Cuban nationals who have been arrested disputes…
Cuban-American dual nationals should be especially wary of any attempt by Cuban authorities to compel them to sign “repatriation” documents. The Government of Cuba views a declaration of repatriation as a legal statement on the part of the dual national that she/he intends to resettle permanently in Cuba. In several instances, the Government of Cuba has seized the U.S. passport of dual nationals signing declarations of repatriation and has denied these individuals permission to return to the United States.
After all of the above is digested the bottom line for any Cuban born traveler or visitor, no matter in what country they are a citizen, is the Cuban Government has numerous laws and security apparatus in place to protect their sovereignty and have been extremely clear during this period of opening up to the United States that nothing would change on the island. Currently the Cuban government is not enforcing the rules dealing with duel nationals. To do so would likely choke a major revenue source. That does not mean that they might use the measures on an individual basis. American travelers, no matter their country of birth, have to remember that Cuba is not your traditional travel destination, it is their country not ours, being aware of the peculiarities makes for a smart traveler.