Monday, May 14, 2012

Hope For Cuba?

AP- After controlling its citizens comings and goings for five decades, Cuba appears on the verge of a momentous decision to end many travel restrictions, with one senior official saying a "radical and profound" change is weeks away.

Ricardo Alarcon has residents, exiles and policymakers abuzz with speculation the much-hated exit visa could end, even if Raul Castor's government still carefully limits the travel of doctors, scientists, military personnel and others in sensitive roles.

In the past 18 months, Castro has removed prohibitions on some private enterprise, legalized real estate and car sales, and allowed compatriots to hire employees. Scrapping travel controls could be an even bigger step.

Even half measures such as staggeringly high visa fees or ending limits on how long Cubans can live abroad would be significant.

"If Cuba ends the restrictions on its own citizens' travel, that means the only travel restrictions would be those the United States imposes on its citizens", said Philip Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute in Virginia.

Rumors of the exit visa's demise have circulated for years. The whispers became open chatter last spring after the Communist Party endorsed migration reform at a crucial gathering. Alarcon's comments published last month revived hopes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, Cubans coming to the USA does not exite me. I much rather the USA lift its travel regulations on going to Cuba. Once they are in the USA, the game if off, if you understand what I mean!