No YAPC::Cuba

A very tiny handful of you may know that I was trying to push YAPC::Cuba. Later I expanded the idea to be a more general open source conference in Cuba as that would likely be a better fit. Sadly, it appears that it's not to be (or at least, not to be through me). There was a fair amount of excitement at the idea from those I spoke with. Quite a few said they wanted to be involved and would contribute time and effort to it, but as is often the case with volunteers, time is at a premium and dedicating volunteer time to a long-shot opportunity is understandably low on their priority list.

And of those who I spoke with who said they wouldn't attend? They were invariably not US citizens. They expressed concern about repercussions from the US government for attending a conference they were legally allowed to attend.

Isn't that sad? People are afraid of the US and it kills the chance to have an interesting conference at a time when it seems perfect for Cuba and the world to be talking.


  1. Cuba does not stamp passports for US citizens (and many others) you have to request it. To make sure, you can say to the immigration guy (girl) not to stamp your passport.

  2. The US does not hold it against a foreign national to have a Cuban stamp in their passport, it's not illegal. Heck, we give green cards to Cuban passport holders.

  3. If this is the reason for not wanting to travel to Cuba, it's invalid.

YAPC::Cuba anyone? I am a US citizen, and if you have a YAPC::Cuba, I will be there.

People may be afraid of the US, but if they are, it's their own problem for being ignorant of what American policy towards Cuba actually is. There's a lot to debate about the value of that policy, but the tragedy here is not with foreign policy. It is with people who could have asked questions, but instead made silly assumptions.

I'd rather be labeled ignorant than take a risk I might not even be able to judge. It's the same reason I haven't been to the US yet.

Unfortunately, I hadn't heard about this idea until now. As someone born to cuban immigrants I keep tabs on the relationship more than most. I don't see there being any major issues with travel for U.S. citizens in this case. My family traveled to Cuba 15 years ago without issue when the restrictions were tougher. My wife has close colleagues (academia) and friends who have traveled to Cuba throughout the last decade. Even under some of the old restrictions (eg. Cultural/Educational purposes) it seems like YAPC::Cuba would fall well within them. It's too bad this didn't work out. I can tell you this would be a big deal for people there.

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About Ovid

user-pic Have Perl; Will Travel. Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant. Photo by Warning: that site is not safe for work. The photographer is a good friend of mine, though, and it's appropriate to credit his work.