July 13th, 2023: Commencement Letter

Dear AANA Delegation to Cuba Delegates and Guests,

I am writing with news regarding your upcoming delegation to Cuba, convening in Havana on November 5th, 2023. We are pleased to confirm the program will proceed.

Your Delegation Communications Site (DCS) can be accessed on the Citizen Ambassador Programs Delegate Communications Site. As we prepare for your delegation, the AANA Delegation Communications Site will continuously be updated over the next few months with travel and professional program information. The Cuba Cultural Briefing will give you a sense of the culture and people in Cuba, and the Travel Readiness will help you prepare for your travel to Cuba.

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance

Traveling to Cuba remains restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury.  All professional delegates and accompanying guests are required to complete the Certificate of Travel for Cuba, attesting to meeting the requirements for either licensed category. See the Certificate of Travel for Cuba.  Please complete this form as soon as possible.  Certificates of Travel received later than 45 days prior to travel, may not be accepted and your position on the team will be forfeited without refund.

US Citizen Travel and Visa Information


For US Citizens, traveling on a Passport issued by the United States a Visa (tourist card) is required for all entering Cuba.


  • All travelers must have a valid passport.
  • Passports must not expire within 6 months of your arrival in Cuba.
  • Passports must have at least 2 blank pages for entry and exit stamps.
  • Passport cards are not accepted in Cuba.
  • The Cuban Government retains the right to grant or deny visas.

The cost for passports and visas are not included in the program cost.

Cuban Entry Visa

We have partnered with Marazul Tours, a New Jersey Cuba travel company, for obtaining your Cuban visa.  The cost of the Cuban Visa is $75.00 plus expedited shipping and credit card fees (approximately $100). This will be added to your final program invoice.

You may choose to apply for your Cuban Entry Visa through alternative providers. Please note, that neither the U.S. The Embassy in Havana nor the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. process Cuban visa applications.

In the event you are denied boarding the flight from Miami to Havana due to lack of a visa/tourist card or the required insurance, any costs incurred as a result of the program delay or inability to travel to Cuba is your responsibility. 

If you would like to apply via Marazul Tours, please complete the Cuban Entry Visa form by September 15 to ensure your visa is processed on time.  Your visa, along with your Miami-Havana-Miami airline tickets will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks prior to departure.

Please note: Persons born in Cuba, no matter what your current citizenship, will require additional documentation. Please contact our office or Marazul for further information.

Domestic and International Flight Booking and accommodations (as needed)

Domestic Flights

Now is the time to book your flights to and from our departure point, Miami International Airport (MIA).

This delegation program fee includes the cost of the round-trip flight between Miami and Havana, Havana arrival and departure transfers, and the required health insurance, which we will book for the delegation.  Your airline departure boarding pass will be stamped indicating the health insurance as part of your airline ticket, during check-in.  The Airlines are the conduit for this transaction. You will be asked to retain this boarding pass as proof of insurance throughout the program.  You will be reminded of this in the pre-departure materials. 

Our delegation will be flying on Delta or American airlines.  As there are multiple flights on both airlines in the afternoon each day, we will be booking flights in the below departure/arrival windows.

Please plan to be at the departure gate, in Miami, a minimum of two-hours before the earliest flight departure times.

Outbound: Sunday, November 5th, 2023 – Departure from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Jose Marti International Airport (HAV):  Flights will be booked for after 12pm and before 3pm.

Return: Friday, November 10th, 2023 – Departure from Jose Marti International Airport (HAV) to Miami International Airport (MIA):  Flights will be booked for after 12pm and before 3pm.

Flight numbers and times will be provided in the final travel information sent at approximately 30 days prior to the delegation convene.

Miami Accommodations

For many delegates/guests from the West Coast of the United States, connecting flights may not arrive before the specified departure to Havana.  There are many airport hotels conveniently located around and in the Miami Airport. The cost of the added hotel night is not included in the program cost.

Extended Travel and Independent Arrivals/Departures

There will be no early arrival or extended departures.  As travel to Cuba is restricted, travel outside the delegation specific dates will not be covered by the license for your professional program.  Delegates and Guests may only arrive and depart within the delegation dates in Cuba.

For individuals whose travel must occur outside of the planned delegation, this includes flights different than the delegation flights or late arrival or early departure from the delegation.  You are responsible for booking your own flights.  A program credit may be available for your independent flights, this is not guaranteed, and is dependent on schedules and capacity.

If you are planning on arriving/departing separate from the group, we ask that you provide a copy of your flight itinerary so that our ground team will know when to expect you and so we can help trouble shoot in the event of flight delays.   Please provide this information as soon as possible using the Flight Information Form.

Independent arrivals and departures will not be included in group transfers.  You are responsible to make your own arrangements. 


Your delegation will be staying at the Grand Aston La Habana.  This 5-star, new hotel property was chosen as it has been approved by the OFAC for US Citizens.  Located near the US embassy, with convenient access to Old Havana, Central Havana and on the Malecón.  The hotel décor is eclectic and modern, featuring the colors and vibe of modern Havana.  The rooms are an open concept with the bathrooms open to the sleeping area, which may be uncomfortable for some.

If you have requested a roommate, and would be uncomfortable with the open concept rooms, you may still request a single room.  The single room supplement is $300 additional.  If you wish to make this change, please make this request by email to citizenambassador@culturalvistas.org or contact Kasey McKevitt, Assistant Program Officer, at 202-545-7034.

Covid-19 Travel Precaution Requirements

Covid-19 Travel Precaution Requirements change frequently, these will be updated closer to departure.

Action Items:

Please complete the following action items by September 1st, 2023:

  1. Complete the Certificate of Travel for Cuba.
  2. Complete the Cuban Entry Visa or apply for a visa through your preferred operator.
  3. Book your domestic flights/ accommodations to Miami.
  4. If making your own international flight arrangements, complete the Flight Information Form
  5. If you have not already completed, please submit the Vaccine and Passport documentation form: This documentation is needed for our ground team to coordinate travel, accommodations, and meeting sites associated with your delegation.  Many travel service providers and counterpart institutions require copies of this information.
  6. Join the WhatsApp Group, which functions as a space for delegates to make travel arrangements together. Upon joining the group, please introduce yourself with your name and where you live. Please note: Joining the group is required as it will also be your primary mode of communicating during the delegation, and the easiest form of communication with your family/work at home.  If you have any difficulty downloading the app or joining the group, please call me (Kasey McKevitt) at 202-545-7034. I am happy to walk you through the steps of joining the group.

Optional Program Action Items

  • Accompanying Guest-If you wish to bring a travel companion, non-professional guests can share this unique experience with you by participating in the parallel guest program. Subject to the travel requirements listed in the Certificate of travel, required for all participants, both professionals and accompanying guests.  You may enroll your guest on the AANA Cuba Application form, the same portal used for your professional application. Please note that the cost for an accompanying guest is the same as a professional delegate. Your guest will have a parallel program while you are in your professional meetings. The guest program information can be found on your DCS, or linked here.
  • Travel Insurance-If you wish to purchase travel insurance, we suggest checking with the credit card company for the card used to purchase your flights.

Thank you for your participation in this exciting exchange program. If you have any additional questions, please contact Dawn Davis, Director, Citizen Ambassador Programs, or Kasey McKevitt, Assistant Program Officer, at 202-545-7034, or via email at citizenambassador@culturalvistas.org.

Best regards,

Citizen Ambassador Team

Dawn Davis, Program Director

Kasey McKevitt, Assistant Program Officer