Cuba Suspends Issuance of Passports Due to System Overload

by Café Fuerte

Cuban immigration office.  Photo: radiorebelde.cu
Cuban immigration office. Photo: radiorebelde.cu

HAVANA TIMES — If you are in a hurry to renew your passport or identity card in Cuba take a deep breath.

The Cuban government unexpectedly announced Wednesday the temporary suspension of the issuance of identity cards and passports claiming “technological difficulties” because of “electrical problems” according to the Ministry of Interior’s ID and Immigration office.

The information was read on the National Television News and distributed to the official media.

Passport services have been temporarily interrupted since May 9.

“From that moment the specialists involved in the recovery [of the service] have remained continuously working to reverse the situation,” the statement said, noting it seeks to resume service in the shortest time possible.

System Saturation

An employee of an Identity Card office in Havana told Café Fuerte on Wednesday they expected to see the situation stabilized in the course of next week.

The source said that in recent weeks there has been a “system saturation” due to the volume of requests from travelers coming from the United States, who were renewing their passports in Cuba faced with the impossibility to validate them at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington.

MININT officials recommended that, for the moment, interested persons refrain from going to the offices where these procedures are performed until an announcement is made in the media about the resumption of services.

The problem with the issuance of official documents in Cuba comes just 24 hours after the Cuban government announced the resumption of renewing passports at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington [through authorized travel agencies], a process that was frozen since February over the inability to find a US-based bank willing to handle the Cuban accounts.

In fact, when Cuba announced the restoration of their consular functions in Washington, back home in Havana the internal system of the island was collapsed.


6 thoughts on “Cuba Suspends Issuance of Passports Due to System Overload

  • May 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm
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    The underlying reason for the backup in Cuba was caused by a sudden increase in applications that could not be processed in the US when the bank in the US withdrew services due to the US government’s terror state list. Hopefully that will be fixed, and I read that some travel agencies were empowered to help out. But the overload did trace back to aspects of the US embargo, blockade and other related punitive laws against Cuba.

  • May 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm
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    Even better than that. Where is the need for a cuban passport if you have another passport?

    We have not rights in Cuban and we are not Cuban citizen.

  • May 15, 2014 at 8:53 am
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    Do you have a reading comprehension problem, Walter? The article clearly states the system problem is in Cuba, at Cuban government offices. This has nothing to do with the Cuban banking problem in Washington.

  • May 15, 2014 at 4:05 am
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    Stop stealing. Make the Cuban passport valid for 10 years as in many countries.

    With that:The Cuban Communist Party can stop stealing money from its people (inside and outside Cuba) and Cuban families could keep the money to pay for basic things. Always the same communist strategy, make people very poor so that they have to depend on the government to live. I have experienced the process of renovating a passport; it takes two minutes at the hand of a very rude and poorly educated Cuban diplomat, costs nothing and it is unnecessary. Still no one has come with an explanation of why it is necessary. Burglars

    From say 2 000 000 passports to process every year, it can be reduced to 200 000. Lot of productivity gain. 10 time less.

  • May 14, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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    A simple and moral solution! US government should stop its vindictive and dishonest treatment of Cuba and take Cuba off the US list of Terrorist states. That would once again allow the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, DC to have normal access to banking so they can process applications. Just another example of how the US “embargo” is actually a punishing blockade, specifically meant to hurt Cuba and any business that dares to provide normal services. It is clearly well past time to normalize relations between Cuba and the US.

  • May 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm
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    I just wonder why that does not surprise me????????????

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