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.