Given that we’ve had a thread running for a week now on the success or otherwise of Latin American Socialism, I find it astounding that none of the good “Comrades” hereabouts have seen fit to mention what is arguably the most significant development in Latin American Socialism since the Cuban Missile Crisis, that also happened early this week. Specifically, that Cuba has now lifted travel restrictions on it’s population. Well, almost. It would be remiss of PW to let the moment pass without acknowledgement.
The core of the change is that Cubans will not be required to to apply for an exit visa, and the obstacles to obtaining a re-entry permit are to be significantly lowered. Some restrictions still apply to doctors, scientists etc, in order to prevent a brain drain.
Can’t be that the lack of comment was for lack of information. The Irish Times carried the first piece below.
Lots of speculation that when Fidel goes so too will the greater philosophy. Neither the population nor the regime seems to have the stomach for it any longer. Commentators have noted that Fidel’s regular newspaper articles have not appeared since June, and he failed to call and congratulate Hugo Chavez on his re-election.
By virtue of the US wet foot/dry foot policy Cuban refugees receive preferable treatment vis a vis Mexican or other Latino's seeking asylum. Now, with an expected flood of migrants in January the US will be under pressure to modify that policy.
Thttp://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...325340741.htmlHE CUBAN government is to lift despised travel restrictions which have prevented millions of Cubans from leaving the communist island for more than half a century.
Instead of requiring a hard-to-obtain exit visa – the notorious white card – Cubans seeking to travel will in future require only a valid passport and an entry visa for their destination.
The announcement was made yesterday in Granma, the newspaper of the central committee of Cuba’s communist party. The paper said the changes would come into effect on January 14th and were part of an adjustment to reflect “current and future circumstances”. The paper said Cubans would also be allowed to spend up to 24 months abroad for those travelling for “personal reasons”.
Here’s a fifty minute radio discussion on the subject with a panel.
A short TV report.
An interview with a professor of Latino Studies
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...b8d_story.htmlHAVANA — For the first time since the height of the Cold War more than half a century ago, Cuba is giving its people the freedom to leave the country without government permission, scrapping the detested exit visa that kept many from traveling outside the communist nation for even a few days.
The announcement Tuesday came as blockbuster news on the island, where citizens were ecstatic at the prospect of being able to leave for a vacation — or even forever — with only a passport and a visa from the country of their destination.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...89F01T20121017The changes reverse tough restrictions imposed in 1961 when the government tried to put the brakes on a mass migration of people fleeing after the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.
The government said on Tuesday it would lift requirements to obtain an exit visa permitting departure from Cuba and a letter of invitation from someone in the destination country, putting an end to a process that Cubans complained was too time consuming and expensive, with no guarantee of final approval.