It is a highly involved but rewarding accomplishment. MotoDiscovery has again been awarded license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and US Treasury Department to legally conduct people to people educational travel to Cuba.
This will mark the third season with MotoDiscovery being the only USA based operator to provide educational formatted travel through Cuba by motorcycle, resuming scheduled two wheeling excursions beginning December 2014.
MotoDiscovery, a Texas based company that since 1981 has specialized in facilitating unique motorcycling adventures worldwide, had long dreamed of adding Cuba to their already extensive list of destinations.
According to founder, Skip Mascorro, getting to Cuba legally for USA citizens can be a complicated endeavor saying, “the licensing process is grueling and navigating the bureaucratic pathways that ultimately result in approval has been a year’s long process.”
Giving credit to well known travel author and MotoDiscovery Cuba specialist Christopher P. Baker (Mi Moto Fidel, Motorcycling through Castro’s Cuba), Mascorro recounted how in 1996, he was approached by Baker to help shed some light on international freighting of his motorcycle, bent on getting to Cuba to fulfill a desire to ride the island and write a comprehensive travel guide. This initial encounter fostered a friendship and a mutual ambition to one day share Cuba with other motorcycle touring enthusiasts.
Political roadblocks prevented a legal means of offering riding experiences in Cuba until in 2012, the US government revived and expanded on a program known as “people to people”, a concept whereby through meaningful exchange with the Cuban population, the ideals of democracy and freedom can be seeded with a hope that eventually the political divide will be bridged.
“We are well aware that anything involving Cuba opens up controversy. It is a sensitive topic…,” says Mascorro who is quick to explain that the MotoDiscovery agenda is apolitical.
He strongly supports the idea that being in Cuba is better than not and that he isn’t going into the embargoed land wearing blinders. He comments that “Cuba is a relic of sorts, trapped in another time and very romantic, yet it seems paradoxically at odds with the typical image of a Communist country.
“Maybe it is the effect of ‘the island’ with all of its music, 1950s cars and motorcycles and the laid back attitude! Still freedoms as we know it are doled out sparingly and attempts to sample democracy and capitalism have been clumsy and ineffective.
“It is indisputable however that while political differences have lingered for decades, at the ‘people to people’ level there is a connection that runs deep and one can expect nothing but the warmest and sincerest of welcomes. The people of Cuba are special”
Participants traveling to Cuba with MotoDiscovery will do so flying direct from Miami to the island (about 35 minutes in the air) and all visas, documentation and services are provided in accordance with regulations mandated by OFAC and the US Government.
Once on the ground a fresh fleet of BMW’s are available and a highly inclusive itinerary ranging from 9 to 15 days are crafted to permit participants to truly get to know Cuba and engage people from all walks of society.
Advance preparations are necessary and group sizes are limited to 12 bikes so early reservations are strongly urged. The prediction that Cuba is on the brink of change and with a vocal and powerful US political lobby constantly opposing any hint of normalizing relations with Cuba, the ability to travel the embargoed country is at risk of again being denied to US citizens as witnessed from 2004 until 2012. There simply is no better time than now.
Want to know more? Contact MotoDiscovery or visit the website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 233-0564.