Radio amateurs in Cuba are scrutinizing and debating the details of new Amateur Radio regulations for the island nation. The Cuban Ministry of Communications adopted the new regulatory scheme on February 28. International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU-R2) posted the new Amateur Radio Service regulations (in Spanish) as a PDF.
The detailed regulations governing hams in Cuba comprise 17 chapters and 182 articles and are said to include some significant changes from the previous rules and regulations that affect authorized bands, license terms, on-the-air practices, and the importation of equipment, antennas, and accessories. The rules in Cuba require license applicants to be at least 18 years old “or authorized by parent or guardian” for prospective radio amateurs older than age 12. Those older than 15 must at least be in ninth grade.
Three license classes are available in Cuba: First Class licensees have CO-prefix call signs and may run up to 2,000 W on authorized bands; Second Class licensees have CM-prefix call signs and may run up to 100 W; Third Class licensees have CL-prefix call signs and may run up to 10 W. Upgrading from Second to First Class requires 3 years’ experience in the lower license category, while upgrading from Third to Second Class requires 2 years’ experience in the lower license category.
First and Second Class licensees must pass a 5 WPM Morse code test.
The Federation of Cuban Radio Amateurs (FRC) develops the questions for the written tests, which must have government agency approval before being administered. Having a license does not automatically give permission to build a transmitting station, which must have prior approval.
The new Cuban regulations stipulate that communications with Amateur Radio stations in other countries be “in clear language” and limited to messages of a technical nature that do not justify the use of public telecommunications. Messages of a technical nature should refer to the exchange of information regarding experiences or experiments carried out during radio communications, and the coordination of schedules. An Amateur Radio station in Cuba may not engage in international third-party communications.
Cuba has adopted an approach of listing permitted modes by band, specifying up to 31 emission designators for some bands. — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News via Joel Carrazana, CO6JC, FRC Information System