The Fund for Reconciliation & Development
Celebrates its 33d year in 2018
FFRD has been on the front lines of building human connections between the people of the US and those of former adversaries. Its work began with Vietnam when the founder arrived in Hanoi on April 30, 1975, the day the war ended, on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace organization.
The FFRD is a catalyst
For healing US relations with countries that have been considered enemies and dealing with the consequences of war.
We were founded in 1985
To end US embargoes and to restore diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We have have the same goals today with Cuba, starting with regaining the right to travel for all Americans.
Our primary focus
Is to seek the best ways to develop mutual understanding and trust such as travel and educational and cultural exchange, as well as assistance from non-governmental organizations, foundations and business. We engage on all sides of conflicts with policy makers and influencers as well as with the media, using direct experience on the ground to advocate for context shaping political change.
Learn more about traveling to Cuba, and the rights you have as an American.
1: Traveling to Cuba
US citizens and residents can legally visit Cuba through twelve categories of general licenses that no longer require applications or reports to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The most broadly accessible channels are People-to-People, which is now available only to groups and Support for the Cuban People.
US commercial airlines have already begun regular non-stop flights to provincial airports in Cuba from Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. In late November and December non-stop flights will begin from Florida, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and North Carolina to Havana. Americans can also use non-US airlines from third countries. Schedules can be found on Google Flights and other booking engines or on the web sites of American, Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest and United Airlines..
It is very hard to find places in good hotels except through groups. However there are thousands of comfortable rooms available in private homes (casas particulares) at significantly lower cost. They can be found through Trip Adviser, Airbnb and similar online services.
Airlines do not require proof that travelers qualify for the general license category they claim. No one has been punished for unauthorized travel since the last year of the Bush Administration.
Update: The State Department Travel Warning is a political gesture tor the Miami right wing and was administratively required when the number of US diplomats in Havana was dramatically reduced. It has no legal impact. Independent travel as this is the best way to support the emerging private sector in Cuba.
2: Make your Plans a Reality
a) Consider whether your first trip to Cuba should be an introduction to the island or a deep dive into part of it, and how much you want to be in Havana or other cities.
b) Decide based on personal preferences and costs whether you want to join a tour group, take a cruise or create a self-directed program for yourself or with friends and family.
c) Pick a week or two that fits with your schedule, weather patterns and the likely availability of accomodations and popular destinations.
d) Consult a travel agent or explore the web to book flights, accomodations and itinerary.
3: The easiest way to get a nationwide overview? Cuba Cruise
The most convenient and least expensive group tour for Americans is on a fully inclusive one week cruise offered by Celestyal.
It departs for the fifth year from Havana or Montego Bay, Jamaica, and visits three ports in distinctive regions: Santiago, Havana,and Cienfuegos. (Passengers boarding in Havana have the option of creating their own program before of after the cruise.)
A unique feature is that more than sixty Cubans are with you for the whole voyage including lecturers from the University of Havana, musicians, dancers, animators, chefs, waiters, and room attendants.
4: Get ready to Travel!
Congratulations! You are still in early stage of Americans discovering Cuba. Before you go, learn more about the island, its people, and its history with our recommended readings and logistics information.
5: A special opportunity to visit eastern Cuba featuring Carnival in Santiago
Executive Director & Founder
John McAuliff has been an active participant in the civil rights, peace and equitable development movements in the United States since the 1960s. In 1985 he founded the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. McAuliff has traveled to Southeast Asia over fifty times, is recognized as an expert on the history of US-Indochina relations and maintains strong contact with key people in the region and in Washington. His current program work is largely focused on achieving normalization with Cuba.
Our past work in Indochina and beyond.