A reader asked for a precise definition of salida definitiva, so here goes.
I consulted a number of sources and while one can find lots of references to it, I found no official Cuban definition of salida definitiva in Cuban immigration law or regulations.
But Cubans seem to have no doubt as to what it means. Barring unusual circumstances (such as marriage to a foreign national), a Cuban who seeks to leave
The salida definitiva implies that a person who departs lose rights under Cuban law – most importantly, the right to own or inherit property, and the right to return to one’s own country at will. One may return with the Cuban government’s permission, for up to 21 days. If one transfers property just before being approved for the salida definitiva, those property transfers are nullified. When a person is approved for salida definitiva, the government inventories his property and takes possession of it upon departure. Critics call it a form of exile.
To be sure, the Cuban government has shown an attitude in recent years of being more interested in having Cubans abroad come back for visits. (And in economic and political terms, those visits are profitable.) The pasaporte habilitado is a recent example; when granted, it allows Cubans living abroad to return to
But as a legal matter, the salida definitiva is like losing one’s citizenship. It adds to the Cuban people’s separation.
I’m happy to post readers’ amplifications or corrections.