By Irina Pino
HAVANA TIMES — Cuba is a tourist destination. A slogan says so. But nevertheless, it is also a long term business. Therefore, many Cubans in exile are seeking out the way to be “repatriated”. And what does that mean? Well, that there are certain facilities involved, which will then translate into benefits.
This situation is like having double residency. After receiving residency, the person will have an ID card. They can stay on the island for a certain amount of time. A relative or friend needs to support you financially and put a roof over your head, while you are unable to earn a steady income.
Among the requirements of the request is one whereby the applicant must explain the way they left the country and why they are requesting to reside again in Cuba.
On the other hand, after the exiled person leaves, they need to return within 2 years maximum. They also have the right to receive free healthcare.
When they arrive on the island, the taxes on their baggage will be charged in national currency at Customs.
The most foolproof thing you can do is to set your sights on a house or apartment – if you have money – (buying a property in Cuba is much cheaper than buying a property elsewhere). The apartment rental business brings in good money if it’s done properly; restaurants and private hair salons do too. Most of these businesses have had foreign investment.
Some people seek repatriation so as not to lose their family inheritances, because their relatives are still alive. There are many different cases. For example, I have an acquaintance who gave up her residency in Spain and applied to be repatriated. The reason: to spend her old age in Cuba and to live off of the rent of the apartment that she had bought.
Similarly, emigres who are currently serving sentences in state prisons in the US are able to put in an application for repatriation via a relative who still lives in Cuba.
Let’s see what happens with all of this. Because if Donald Trump sits down and thinks about it, he might think that these exiles are cheating him to make easy money, outside the country of the American Way of Life.