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CUBA 14 Jan 2013 Cuba drops exit visa requirement

Havana announced on Oct 16 that it will allow exit visas for Cubans from Jan 14. Most of the country’s nationals will be allowed to depart with only

January 14, 2013 - NULL

CUBA 14 Jan 2013 Cuba drops exit visa requirement

Havana announced on Oct 16 that it will allow exit visas for Cubans from Jan 14. Most of the country's nationals will be allowed to depart with only a passport and visa for the country they are traveling to. Though representing a significant new freedom and political reform, the removal of the hated barrier might not apply to everyone. Doctors, other professionals, members of the military and dissidents are among Cubans who might still face restrictions.

In addition to the economic reforms seen over the past several years in Cuba, according

CUBA 14 Jan 2013 Cuba drops exit visa requirement

Havana announced on Oct 16 that it will allow exit visas for Cubans from Jan 14. Most of the country's nationals will be allowed to depart with only a passport and visa for the country they are traveling to. Though representing a significant new freedom and political reform, the removal of the hated barrier might not apply to everyone. Doctors, other professionals, members of the military and dissidents are among Cubans who might still face restrictions.

In addition to the economic reforms seen over the past several years in Cuba, according to the Christian Science Monitor, easing foreign travel could portend the kinds of political reforms global actors have been clamoring for.

It is the most significant advance this year in President Raúl Castro's five-year plan of reforms that has already seen the legalization of home and car sales and a big increase in the number of Cubans owning private businesses.

The new visa policy -- promised by President Raúl Castro in 2011 and announced in Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, in October -- represents an additional loosening of government controls but leaves Havana with the whip hand. Even Cubans with passports will need to have them renewed, and the government has the option of denying passport renewal as a way to keep certain nationals from traveling. (WRITTEN OCT 2012)

RELATED READING:
Easing Path Out of Country, Cuba Is Dropping Exit Visas (NYT 16 Oct 2012)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/world/americas/cuba-lifts-much-reviled-rule-the-exit-visa.html?_r=0

Exit visas: Finally a political opening in Cuba? (CSM 17 OCT 2012)
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2012/1017/Exit-visas-Finally-a-political-opening-in-Cuba

Keywords: Cuba exit visas, Cuban exit visas, Cuba exit visa requirement, Cuban exit visa restrictions, reforms, passport, visa, Havana, Cuba, Americas, political reforms, President Raúl Castro, political reform, freedom, restrictions, January 2013

Date written/update: 2013-01-14