The US travel ban on Cuba has been in effect for nearly five decades.
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”)
administers Cuba travel restrictions that apply to all US citizens and permanent residents.
Under a Specific License, travel has been re-authorized for educational
exchanges not involving academic study when those exchanges take place under the auspices of an organization that sponsors
and organizes such programs to promote people-to-people contact.
The Cuban legal system is a complex and dynamic composite of Spanish Colonial,
Socialistic, and Anglo American civil law, reflecting three major eras of Cuba's history and Cuba's
strong emphasis on economic rights as well as political rights for its citizens.
Constitutional amendments in 1992 recognized forms of non-socialist property such as joint ventures and corporations
and provided for non-discrimination based on religious belief.
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Cuba Study Tour II: From December 15 to December 22, 2013
Cuba Academic Travel for Lawyers, Legal Scholars, Law Professors and Legal system professionals!
Notice: this tour coincides with the world acclaimed International Jazz Festival of Havana Jazz Plaza 2013 that runs from December 19 to December 22, 2013.
The Cuban Judiciary is currently one of the three branches of the Cuban government, the others being the executive and the
After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, hundreds of popular laws were enacted such as the First Agrarian Reform Law of May 1959,
Urban Reform Law of October 1960, Nationalization Law of October 1960, Nationalization of Education Law of June 1961, and the
Second Agrarian Reform Law of October 1963.
In 1973, the Cuban Council of Ministers approved a structure for the new legal system, in which a court system was established with
four levels of jurisdiction: Base, District, Provincial, and National (Supreme Court). The Supreme Court was given appellate
jurisdiction over four distinct areas of law: civil/administrative, criminal, state security, and military.
The reforms of 1973 also saw the end of private legal practice, and all lawyers who continued to provide legal services were
required to join legal collectives, known as bufetes colectivos. Also included in the reforms was the creation of "lay judges"
who served on the bench alongside professional judges and kept alive the popular spirit of the People's Courts.
The principle of socialist legality, as articulated by Cuban jurists, puts forth that the role of the law in a socialist society
is to create social stability while simultaneously furthering the development of the socialist society through change in Cuban
In the late 1980s, with the downfall of the Soviet Union, starting with the pulling down of the Berlin wall in 1989 and its full
collapse in 1991, the laws of Cuba changed again to respond to the new conditions of the Special Period.
The Constitutional amendments of 1992 recognized forms of non-socialist property (joint ventures, corporations, other economic
associations) and provided for non-discrimination based on religious belief (for example, persons with religious belief may now
join the Cuban Communist Party.
This Cuba study trip represents a unique opportunity for lawyers, legal scholars, law professors and legal system professionals
to learn about the Cuban system from the Cuban point of view.
During this Cuba educational tour you will learn the Cuban legal system, from the neighbourhoods to the National Assembly!
Cuba Study Tour Highlights include:
Guided tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel to Viñales Valley, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Visit to International Lawyers and Consultants (CONABI).
Meet with lawyers of the Cuban National Union of Lawyers.
Visit to Bufetes Colectivos- collective law offices.
Visit to Bufete de Servicios Especializados (bar association).
Visit to Lex S.A. Servicos Juridicos (Legal Firm).
Meet representatives of the National Assembly of People's Power.
Meet with Cuban lawyers and legal scholars.
Accommodation at famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba.
Guided tour of Partagas Cigar Factory, founded in 1845.
Visit to Tropicana, spectacular cabaret to open sky.
Notice to US citizens:
This Cuba study tour is licensable for U.S. lawyers, legal scholars, law professors and legal system professionals interested in
conducting professional research on the Cuban legal system.
Authentic Cuba Travel is able to offer this Cuba education tour for
US lawyers, legal scholars, law professors and legal system professionals because of a rare political opening in U.S. policy that
allows professionals to go to the island as part of Cuba study tours.
The Cathedral's baroque facade is simultaneously intimate and imposing, and one of the two towers is visibly larger,
creating a pleasing asymmetry. As with many churches in the city, the building material of Havana Cathedral includes coral,
cut and hauled from the edge of the sea by slaves
Exploration of Vinales Valley, containing the most spectacular scenery in Cuba and some of the most interesting and varied geological formations on the island. The valley is particularly famous for its great freestanding rock formations called mogotes.
Visit to Partagas Cigar Factory, founded in 1845 by Spaniard Don Jaime Partagas. Don Jaime owned many of the best
plantations in the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region of Cuba and being able to choose from among the finest tobaccos on the
island made the brand Partagas incredibly successful.
Every night a cannon shoot rumbles at 9pm so called
"El Cañonazo de las 9", a custom, kept from colonial times, signaling the closure of the city wall doors. Night after night
hundreds of people attend to this tradition of Havana.
Habana Cafe, a great opportunity to Salsa dancing with Cubans and your tour
companions to live music of Cuban best salsa bands such as Los Van Van, Paulito FG, La Charanga Habanera,
Adalberto Alvarez, and many others.
Baseball game at Latino americano Stadium, popularly known in Cuba as "The Colossus of Cerro”
is home of Ciudad Habana Industriales. The stadium holds 55,000 people. In 1999, it hosted an exhibition series
between Cuban National Team and the Baltimore Orioles.
Day 1. Sunday 15 December 2013. Hello Cuba
Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana City.
You are welcomed by your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide.
Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Day 2. Monday 16 December 2013. Explore Cuba's Legal System
Morning: visit to International Lawyers and Consultants (CONABI), a Cuban business law firm created in 2006 by the strategic merger
of a number of Cuban legal entities that boasts a highly committed and experienced group of lawyers. The Havana-based team assists
international clients and Cuba-based joint ventures with a range of services, including mainstream corporate work, labour,
litigation and shipping finance.
Lunch in La Mina restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Cuban dishes and music live!
Afternoon: guided walking tour of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old Havana is a 528 acre area that contains approximately 4000 buildings in a variety of styles including Spanish Baroque,
Neocolonial, Beaux Arts, and Moorish. Since the 1990s, development efforts in Havana include extensive historic preservation,
architectural renewal, and modernization of infrastructure.
Free time in the famous handicraft market of Old Havana, located inside the Almacenes de Depósito San José, an old warehouse on
the harbourside where you can purchase all sorts of crafts and souvenirs by local artisans.
Return to hotel.
Evening: visit to Tropicana, spectacular cabarets to open sky. A unique place in the world to enjoy the music and the
Cuban and Caribbean folklore in all their color, musicality and rhythm. An art extravaganza to multiply the Cuban happiness of a
true tropical night.
Day 3. Tuesday 17 December 2013. Day Excursion to Vinales Valley
Morning: meeting with the president and representatives of the Commission for Constitutional,
Administrative and Legal Matters of the National Assembly of People's Power (Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, ANPP).
The ANPP has 609 members elected from single-member electoral districts for five-year terms. Each is accountable and can be
recalled at any time.
The theme of the encounter is threefold: Cuba's Government System, Analysis of Cuba's Constitution, and Cuba's Electoral System.
The format is a presentation and discussion.
Lunch on your own (not included in costs).
Evening venue: visit to Habana Cafe. A great opportunity to Salsa dancing with Cubans and your tour companions to live music
of Cuban best salsa bands such as Los Van Van, Paulito FG, La Charanga Habanera, Adalberto Alvarez, and many others (entrance fee not included).
Day 4. Wednesday 18 December 2013. Havana
Morning: meeting with members of the Cuban National Society of Social Sciences and
representatives of the Cuban National Union of Lawyers (UNJC). The UNJC holds special consultative status on the United Nations
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a body facilitating international cooperation on standards making and problem solving in
economic and social issues. Introduction to Cuba's Penal and Justice System.
Don Jaime owned many of the best plantations in the Vuelta Abajo tobacco-growing region of Cuba and being able to choose from among
the finest tobaccos on the island made the brand Partagas incredibly successful.
Don Jaime is also believed to have experimented with various methods of fermenting and aging tobacco and is legendarily credited
with hiring the first lector to read to and entertain the cigar rollers as they worked. Before and after the Revolution,
the Cuban-produced Partagás has been one of the most revered and highest-selling brands of cigars in the world.
Followed by panoramic air conditioned coach tour of the most important historical sites in the Modern Havana neighbourhoods of
Vedado and Miramar including the Revolution Square, University of Havana, Habana Libre Hotel, Coppelia Ice Cream Park, Plaza
José Martí (in front of U.S. Interests Section), Monument to the Battleship Maine, Malecón seawall, Prado promenade, Central Park,
The Great Theatre and the Capitol building.
Evening: attend one of the most traditional and popular ceremonies in Cuba, the Fire of the Cannon of 9 O'Clock at the
Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabana.
Followed by visit to Casa del Habano “La Triada”.
Day 5. Thursday 19 December 2013. Havana
Morning: visit to Bufete de Servicios Especializados, providing services for foreign clients and joint ventures seeking advice
on mainstream commercial work. The Havana-based team is noted for its academic background, availability and client service in
general commercial matters, with an emphasis on foreign investment and litigation. Armanda Nuris Piñero Sierra is the firm's
leading light. She continues to represent the families of the Miami Five, the Cuban citizens imprisoned in the USA under
alleged charges of espionage.
Lunch on your own (not included).
Afternoon: visit to Berger, Young & Associates Ltd.,an international legal consulting firm that provides investment, finance,
corporate structuring and other transaction services in respect of foreign investments in Cuba since 1998. Its founding partners are
Sebastiaan A.C. Berger and Cameron Young. Berger Young was formed by two partners, Berger and Young, in order to provide
independent, legal and investment advisory services to foreign investors in Cuba.
Sebastiaan and Cameron are both lawyers, trained in important international law firms and both have lived and worked in Cuba
for over 10 years. They met in Havana in 1998 and decided that the opportunities of the Cuban market place were likely to expand
significantly in the years to come and that their strategy of balancing on-the-ground expertise with international transaction
standards put them in a unique position to advise foreign investors on the potential benefits, but also the potential risks,
of this fascinating business environment and country.
Evening venue: this educational and cultural tour coincides with the world acclaimed International Jazz Festival of HavanaJazz Plaza 2013 that runs from December 19 to December 22. The National Hotel of Cuba is located amid the main venues of the event. Do not miss out this great opportunity! Your Authentic Cuba tour guide will keep you posted on the evening program. (Optional/ Not included)
Day 6 Friday 20 December 2013. Havana
Morning: visit to Bufetes Colectivos, collective law offices, first established by the Ministry of Justice after the
private practice of law was abolished, and currently under the oversight of the National Organization of Bufetes Colectivos (ONBC).
In order to practice in a bufete, one must graduate from law school in Cuba or a foreign country with Cuban validation.
Exceptions to this can be made under extraordinary circumstances. Once in a bufete, lawyers may practice anywhere in the country.
Currently, approximately 2,000 lawyers practice in some 250 bufetes throughout Cuba, collectively handling some 200,000 cases per
Lunch hosted by Jose Fuster, one of the most important Cuban ceramists and painters today.
Afternoon: visit to Lex S.A. Servicos Juridicos. Operating out of its Havana headquarters, the team regularly acts for international
and domestic clients seeking counsel on registration and protection of trademarks, patents and related litigation. The group's
growing case load also involves anti-counterfeiting, web domain registration and copyright issues.
Late afternoon: cocktail party at Club Habana. Opportunity to exchange with some of our Cuban counterparts
in a relaxed atmosphere.
Evening: attend baseball game at Latinoamericano Stadium, popularly known in Cuba as "The Colossus of Cerro” is home of Ciudad Habana
Industriales. The stadium holds 55,000 people. In 1999, it hosted an exhibition series between Cuban National Team and the
Day 7. Saturday 21 December 2013. Explore Cuba's Legal System
Today we will explore Cuba's famous Vinales Valley, containing the most spectacular scenery in Cuba
and some of the most interesting and varied geological formations on the island. The valley is particularly famous for its great
freestanding rock formations called mogotes.
Meet with local farmers that have been passing from generation to generation the secrets of growing the best
tobacco in the world.
Visit to Mural de la Prehistoria, a huge painting on the side of a Mogote.
Explore Viñales town at your leisure: its open-air craft market, Parque Marti, town church, and other interesting sites of this
charming colonial hamlet.
Lunch at Cueva del Indio restaurant.
After lunch we will visit the Cueva del Indio, used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians as a burial site in ancient time, and as refuge
from the Spaniards for both Indians and Black slaves alike. We’ll take a short boat ride on the subterranean river running through
Visit Carmen and Caridad Miranda’s botanical garden, called the Viñales Botanical Garden. The two widows maintain a garden
full of fruits, orchids and medicinal plants.
Farewell dinner at La Cocina de Liliam where ex- president James Carter dinned in his last visit to Cuba.
Evening venue: remember, this educational and cultural tour coincides with the world acclaimed International Jazz Festival of HavanaJazz Plaza 2013 that runs from December 19 to December 22. The National Hotel of Cuba is located amid the main venues of the event. Do not miss out this great opportunity! Your Authentic Cuba tour guide will keep you posted on the evening program. (Optional/ Not included)
Day 8. Sunday 22 December 2013. Departure
Early morning departure to Havana City International Airport for departure.
Authentic Cuba Travel
Cuba Education Tours
Visit to Trinidad's Academy of Painting. Tour of the school and exchange with
students and teachers in the workshops. Learn about the school educational
Meet teachers and students at primary schools to learn about the primary education level in Cuba.
Tour the schools and enjoy educational-cultural activities by students.
Guided tour of the Latin America School of Medicine, a jewel of the Cuban education system,
and one of the largest medical school in the world.
Visit to the Literacy Museum in Havana. A must-see in any Cuba education tour for teachers, educators and
those interested in learning more about Cuba education system.
Visit to the University of Havana, founded in 1728, a pilar of education success in Cuba.
Exchange with Cuban educators and students.
Followed by a tour of the University of Havana.
Tour Cuba's Superior Institute of Art (ISA), the highest level of artistic education in Cuba.
Meet with Cuban teachers and students of visual arts, theatre, dance and music.
Meet with teachers and students of Workshop School in Old Havana. The school teaches traditional
and modern techniques of restoration work. A nice visit to any Cuba education tour.
Guided tour of Cuba's Ballet School, the largest ballet school
in the world with over 4000 students, and the most prestigious ballet school within Cuba
During your Cuba educational tour, you will visit secondary schools. Secondary education in Cuba is
compulsory from grades 7 through 9.
Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC)
high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for
my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize
your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba
and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!