Cuba will implement migratory reform in the next months to eliminate the old restrictions impeding Cubans from traveling abroad
“One of the issues currently under discussion at the highest level of the Cuban State is the issue of migration. We will carry out a radical and deep immigration reform in the coming months, in order to eliminate this type of restriction,” said Alarcon, president of the National Assembly of the People’s Power. Alarcon said the migratory control in the last five decades was one of the resources used by the revolution that began in 1959 to defend itself from “the long terrorist campaign,” for which some Cuban immigrants were responsible. “Now things have changed a lot,” Alarcon said, adding that “nearly half a million Cubans living abroad visit us each year. The vast majority of Cuban emigrants have normal relations with their country of origin.” “Currently it is an economic emigration, whose fundamental interest is to keep peaceful links with its country of origin, they have family and friends on the island, and they wish above all stability,” he said. “This new reality leads us to a ‘substantial’ reform of our migratory policy. Some rules must be changed and others eliminated,” Alarcon said. Alarcon also recalled that the migration issue has been always a “weapon used by the U.S. government to destabilize the revolution.” Cubans are the only foreign immigrants who may automatically gain residence after a year in U.S. territory according to the Cuban Adjustment Act, established in 1966 to encourage illegal Cuban immigration by crossing the Florida Strait in unsteady boats, he said.
The first announcement on a migratory reform in Cuba was made in August 2011 by President Raul Castro at the parliament and was ratified in December
Castro’s government has removed several restrictions observed in the country for half a century, but Cubans still can travel into and out of the country freely. To travel abroad, a Cuban citizen must suffer a winding net of limitations and expensive permits that cost nearly 1,000 dollars. If successful, the travel permission is granted for 30 days and may be extended ten times. People must return within the time limit, otherwise they will lose the right to reside on the island.
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