Getting to Cuba
    Of course, US citizens who do not qualify for a General (academics, students, or family members) or Special (everything else) License can not legally go to Cuba. Often this does not stop them and until recently, when caught, they have been ignored or just slapped on the wrist. However, under the Bush administration, fines upwards of $70,000 have been issued.

    None of this impacts on me as a Canadian citizen -- although it may turn into a problem for my advisor. Technically, as an academic invited to present at an academic conference, he could go legally under a General License. However he thought, and the travel agency confirmed, that you just go and prove with adequate documentation that that was the purpose of your trip and all's good. Turns out -- so we discovered at immigration on the way back -- that no, he was supposed to have applied for a little piece of paper. "The State Department will be in touch." I hope that he doesn't get in trouble.

    So, since Americans can't usually go to Cuba, there aren't really flights out of the US to Cuba. Consequently, the most convenient / cheapest flight we got was through Toronto which of course really extends amount of travel. We left Bloomington bright and early on Sunday, November the 23rd, flew to Toronto via Cincinnati and finally arrived in Havana at 11:30pm.