Cuba Reduces Restrictions on Cubans Abroad

Photo: Raquel Perez Diaz

HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban government announced today that it will facilitate the acquisition of citizenship for children born to Cubans abroad and will eliminate some of the obstacles imposed on emigrants for trips to the island, reported dpa.

“The US government closes” [to immigrants] and “Cuba opens” [to Cubans], affirmed the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, during an act with representatives of the Cuban emigration in Washington.

Rodríguez announced that the “prerequisite” would be eliminated, which required the children of Cubans born abroad to reside on the island for at least 90 days in order to obtain citizenship.

Among the measures announced by the Foreign Minister, and perhaps the most significant for many Cubans, is the elimination of the “Passport Validation” that must be granted by consulates to Cubans living abroad in order for them to travel to Cuba, part of time consuming and expensive (they must revalidate their passports every two years) and bureaucratic process.

According to official Cuban sources, 800,000 people with a Cuban passport currently live abroad, notes dpa.

The Cuban government will now allow Cuban citizens who left the country illegally to visit the island, many so-called rafters. The only exception mentioned are those who did so by way of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba claimed that the exception is due to “the serious risks of such acts for national security”.

Cuba also authorized Cubans residing abroad to enter and leave recreational boats from the western ports of Havana and Varadero, although it will later be extended to other recreational marinas. Cubans living on the island still lack this possibility.

“The Government of Cuba will continue to study new measures to update its immigration policy,” said an official statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

While many countries welcome their emigrants, for decades Cuba has rejected theirs, led by the insults and contempt they received from then-President Fidel Castro.

The measures announced today will come into effect as of January 1, 2018, and seek to ease immigration obstacles at a time of tension between Havana and Washington, the Cuban government said.

Under the pretext of alleged acoustic attacks on its diplomats, the United States took out most of its personnel from its embassy in Havana, suspending visa procedures. Then they announced that future applicants must visit the US embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, which is either impossible or very expensive for most Cuban applicants.

US officials also expelled 15 Cuban diplomats working at the island’s embassy in Washington, something the Cuban government considered unjustified.

10 thoughts on “Cuba Reduces Restrictions on Cubans Abroad

  • Can a child having one Cuban citizen parent now become a Cuban citizen w/o residing there ?

  • Passport prices makes this a little uncomfortable for many. You are right, many has build wealth but wealthy people won’t travel to Cuba. People who travels to Cuba are the less fortunately, some or many are not close to be a middle class in USA.

    APROXIMADAMENTE (just in passports)
    800’000 Pasaportes
    x600 mantener por 6a~nos
    480’000’000 Cuatrocientos ochenta millones cada 6 a~nos

  • My Question is … Why Cuba closed to Cubans,… on the 1st Place?
    When I left I was ripped off everything like I wasn’t born an raised in Cuba.

    Mi pregunta es … ¿Por qué Cuba cerró a los cubanos, … en el 1er lugar?
    Cuando me fui, me arrancaron todo como si no hubiera nacido y crecido en Cuba.

  • The US restricts NONE of those items from leaving the US in the hands of returning Cubans, or anyone else for that matter.

    The Cuban government is the roadblock with restrictions on what enters the country and applying import taxes that are insane.

    For crying out loud, simply read the Aduana website:

  • No, no change there.

  • I’m confused I was born in Havana came in Mariel when I go to Cuba I have to get a Cuban passport and renew it every two years. Does this affect that? it’s very expensive

  • Cuba is not the one stopping those things from coming in. It is the US that doesn’t let me take them there.

  • An inspired change. Cuba has a huge imigrant population that has built considerable wealth. Many more Cuban’s in the USA will visit the Island. Further changes like elimination of two year renewal needed. An entry fee could raise as much revenue with easier administration. Even better would be to accept all passports for entry. The visa fee would more than cover the revenue collected from administration of forced secondary passports.

  • If Cuba would eliminate the “Proroga”, or the “rehabilitacion de Passaportes” , and allow Cubans who have left to become citizens of other countries travel on their new passports it would build tremendous good will. More Cubans would return freely and spend money that helped people . Forcing Cubanos to remain hostages to a dual citizenship system that has no benefits and onlyboutrageous taxes breeds resentment. Cubans would love their country enough to remain citizens if they were not made devestatingly poor.

  • About time. Passport validation tax has really soaked up a lot of money over the years and was completely pointless. Was something else entirely other than passport renewal (5 years). Now please extend the length of passport renewal and let visiting Cubans bring things – clothes, shoes, building materials, mini scooters, solar panels anything useful – more easily into the country on visits.

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