Cuba Immigration Reform Still On Hold

President Raul Castro said immigration reform is still under study. Photo.

HAVANA TIMES — The bi-annual meeting of Cuba’s National Assembly of Popular Power (parliament) concluded on Sunday without the body taking up the issue of immigration reform, despite Cuban President Raul Castro having announced such an action on two separate occasions.

During his closing speech at the Havana Convention Center, however, the president  confirmed “the will of the leadership of the party and the state to undertake the reform of the existing legislation in this area and to proceed with its gradual implementation.”

To demonstrate that the issue “has not been neglected,” the Cuban president said studies continue for its “gradual relaxation,” taking into account “the associated effects and the international scenario.”

The president did not announce any tentative date for submitting a proposal.

In Cuba, the announcement that a given policy change is “under study” often means several years until action actually takes place.

Read Raul Castro’s speech to the Cuban parliament (English translation)


3 thoughts on “Cuba Immigration Reform Still On Hold

  • there are not enough cars for car accidents. you do not see paraplegics in wheelchairs in cuba. that is the best thing about cuba. no air pollution.

  • ‘Moses’ writes that Cuba is not likely to change its immigration policy out of fear of losing its citizens. Meanwhile, the US changes its immigration policies on a daily basis, also out of fear – fear of gaining too many citizens! As a Canadian who travels to the US, the changes are graphic. The last time I crossed the border I was warned that if I stayed beyond six months I would be deported and barred from entering the US for life!

    Obama has deported more people than any other president, including George W Bush. How long would the US welcome Cubans if immigration was truly opened up? We can assume the US is more fearful than Cuba of increased emigration from Cuba!

    As for ‘Moses’ speculation that Cuba wants to limit tourism to the island for reasons of secrecy, did anyone else have a good laugh over that one? Looking at the amount of promotion that takes place in Canada to encourage tourism, I have to assume Canadians are good at keeping secrets? Or should I just assume that Americans, especially Cuban-Americans, are not the most desired tourists? It seems obvious considering the hostility the government they live under exhibits toward the Cuban government and the stories I heard when I was in Cuba about the purposeful damage some Cuban Americans do when in Cuba, like burning cigarette holes in the upholstery of rental cars. It should be even more expensive for Americans to travel to Cuba!

    And then there’s the question of US agents getting into Cuba for treasonable purposes, unlike the Cuban 5 who were concerned with Cuban security but treated as foreign hostiles on no evidence whatsoever, motivated by a desire, of course, to demonise the Cuban government. Wonderful country ‘Moses’ lives in, eh?

  • The continued delay in reforming the archaic immigration policy in Cuba can only be due to fear. The General/President understands that anything change which will make it easier and less expensive for Cubans to leave Cuba will only trigger the worsening of the current brain drain that Cuba faces daily. Worse yet, as Cubans age, the younger and most productive segment of the population is the group most likely to fuel further Cuban emigration. For Cubans living abroad, any changes which lower the costs for Cubans to visit the island will indeed increase tourism revenue but also lessen the ever-weakening control the regime continues to exercise in managing its international image. It will harder to promote crop reports while trying to hide car accidents if there are more tourists with cameras wandering about. It will also be hard to lower exit visas and passport fees. This is really getting interesting…..

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