Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Cuba Drops Exit Permit Requirement, but Don't Expect a Travel Boom

Ray Walser

October 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm

On October 16, Cuba's official newspaper announced that the requirement

of an exit visa to depart the island will be lifted on January 14.

A future Cuban traveler will have to present only a renewed passport and

a visa from his destination country in order to depart Cuba. Permissible

periods of time abroad without loss of citizen benefits will also be

extended to two years or more.

The Cuban government still has the authority to renew or issue passports

as it sees fit. It also states that it will protect "human capital" and

that travel can be denied for "national security reasons."

There is a high probability, worries Generation Y blogger Yoani Sánchez,

that come next January, her unfulfilled quest for foreign travel—for

which she has repeatedly applied—will again be dashed because of some

secretive "blacklist."

Don't expect a Cuban tourist boom. In a country where the average

monthly wage is $20, access to foreign currency is strictly rationed,

and there is no genuine productive private sector, it is difficult to

identify those able to benefit from the change.

A Cuban passport alone will cost the average Cuban five months' salary.

Cubans wishing to come to the U.S. will meet the customary tests

regarding overcoming the presumption of being an intending immigrant.

The State Department issued an average of between 15,000 and 20,000

non-immigrant visas to Cubans in the last three years.

What is General Raul Castro's game plan? Real liberalization? Most

doubtful. Some see a potential legal Mariel, referring to the mass

exodus of Cubans in 1980. "Let those go who wish to," they'll say, "but

the selfish neighbors to the north will deny them entry."

Raul, the economic czar, will be happy to cut his human capital loses

and responsibilities by shedding unwanted workers and retirees,

exporting future welfare costs to relatives abroad and to Florida and

other states. A few can use the change to hop back and forth, helping

keep the foundering communist regime afloat.

Finally, a change in visa policy will not end repression. The Castro

regime remains grounded upon a selective system of political repression

and denial of basic rights extending from censorship and the information

monopoly to the frequent use of snitches, police thugs, and state

security to intimidate, harass, detain, and incarcerate dissidents.

Yet one cannot help but hope against realistic expectations that next

January, Yoani Sánchez will be allowed to travel, meet freely with

friends of Cuban democracy, and return unmolested to her home.

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/cuba-drops-exit-permit-requirement-but-dont-expect-a-travel-boom/


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