The decree will take effect on January 14 and will remove a much-hated bureaucratic procedure that has stopped Cubans from moving or traveling abroad.
At a morning news conference Cuba’s deputy chief of immigration, Col. Lamberto Fraga, said that these new measures are truly profound and substantial, not just cosmetic.
Under the new rules, which were announced in the Communist Party daily Granma, all islanders will have to do before traveling is show the visa from they country they intend to travel to along with their passport.
It is a significant advancement for this year in Cuba’s Presidents five-year plan of reforms that has already implemented the legalization of car sales and homes and a major increase in the number of Cuban citizens who own private businesses.
Migration is a very politicized issue in and around Cuba. Under the “wet foot, dry foot” policy, the U.S. allows almost all Cuban citizens who reach its borders to stay. An editorial was published by Granma that blamed the travel restrictions put into place in 1961 on American attempts to topple Cuba’s government, recruit its best-educated citizens and plant spies.
With respect to the lifting of the Cuban travel ban, the Granma editorial assured Cuban citizens that the government acknowledges their right to travel and the change is part of an irreversible process.