US to Grant Cubans Multiple Entry Visas

The US Interests Section building in Havana. Photo: Raquel Perez

HAVANA TIMES  – The US State Department announced its decision today to grant multiple 5-year entry visas to Cubans, a move justified as a way to “promote openness” and “democratization” of the island.

The measure, which will come into force on August 1, is for family and other temporary visitors, not immigrants. Currently the tourist visas are only valid for six months and one entry to the USA.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the move was part of the efforts of the Obama administration to “increase person-to-person ties between Americans and Cubans” and to “increase communication between Cubans and promote openness” on the island.

“The government, the secretary (John Kerry) believe that these measures, along with others, increase the flow of personal contacts that is really the key to promoting civil society, to promote the democratization of the island,” Harf said.


5 thoughts on “US to Grant Cubans Multiple Entry Visas

  • August 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm
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    “By agreeing today, to normalize Consular relations and transforming with the stroke of a pen, a wartime, deadly relation into a normal, respectful Consular activity between the US and Cuba, all injuries, deaths and imprisonments have ended quietly”

    Surely you are fantasizing. The injuries, deaths and imprisonments of Cubans at the hands of the regime will continue until the thugs are driven from power.

  • August 2, 2013 at 9:16 am
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    This is great news for the ‘mule’ business. Heretofore, only those Cubans residing in the US could afford to travel back and forth several times a year. Now, with a multiple entry visa, those Cubans who continue to reside in Cuba can travel to the US to purchase the medicine, clothes, electronics and other supplies lacking in Cuba and return to Cuba with their bounty several times a year under the same visa.

  • August 1, 2013 at 10:25 am
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    It sounds good on the surface but appears almost meaningless to me. So long as the US has the “Cuban Adjustment Act” or wet foot / dry foot policy, it will remain incredibly difficult for a Cuban to get a visa to visit the US for fear there is no way to have them return home if they decide to stay.

  • August 1, 2013 at 8:42 am
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    In the meantime Cubans still need a Visa to go back to their country. Relations will be as bitter as before, I’m yet to see who will fly to Cuba with all the outstanding settlements that Cuba has in US courts for everything they stole. Nothing will be normalize as long as those parasites still in power.

  • July 31, 2013 at 9:49 pm
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    Great news. A step forward in normalizing an absurd 50 year old, senseless strife between close neighbors.

    Cuba foolishly became United States Border Patrol in the early 1960, when it created a stupid law “Illegal Exist of the Country’ or Salida Ilegal del Pais, in response to thousands of Cubans from the Batista regime, upper class, professionals and others who had lost properties, seeking refuge in the US.

    The United States created a host of laws, Visa Waiver, Peter Pan, Family Reunion, Wet Foot/Dry Foot, all of which which became a magnet for greater Cuban migration and increased repression by Cuba. In the midst of these absurdities, the Cuban government organized or allowed mass migration such as Camarioca, Freedom Flight, Mariel boat lift, Rafter Crisis, leading to hundreds of thousands of Cubans to relocate in the US.

    Unknown number of Cubans suffered injuries, were imprisoned or died, as a result of this cold war abomination. Six months after Cuba lifted its draconian migration measures that never should have been in January 2013, it have silently demolished, wrecked the United States magnets that was in place, intended to demonstrate to the world, how desperate people were to migrate from Cuba. By agreeing today, to normalize Consular relations and transforming with the stroke of a pen, a wartime, deadly relation into a normal, respectful Consular activity between the US and Cuba, all injuries, deaths and imprisonments have ended quietly, un-gloriously.

    Let’s hope this is the first step, in reversing a bitter relations that never should have been!!

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