Cuba may be safe for tourists, but it isn't safe for drones, according to one documentary filmmaker. Dane Christensen was entering Cuba in February when a customs official pulled him aside: he was carrying a DJI Phantom, which the officials viewed as a kind of contraband. The drone was seized at the border, and stored at customs until Christensen left the country. "It was my full intention to use my drone to get some amazing shots of the beaches and Cubanos surfing," Christensen says. Unfortunately, without the drone, all Christensen's footage had to be handheld.
It's an increasingly common issue as nations struggle with how to regulate drones in a safe and open way. At the border, that often results in drones being treated as contraband. There have been similar reports of drones being confiscated at the Brazilian border, most likely due to the country's stringent technology tariffs. Still, the best bet for travelers like Christensen may be to get a license in advance — and if they can't, to leave the drones at home.