Friday, April 18, 2008

Exit permits to be eliminated?

Spain’s El Pais reports from Havana that the requirement that Cubans obtain an exit permit (tarjeta blanca) from their own government before traveling abroad, will soon disappear for nearly all Cubans. The requirement for letters of invitation will also go, the paper says. The article cites “sources close to the government” who say the decision has already been made, and only a few details remain to be ironed out.

9 comments:

theCardinal said...

this is going to be fun. This would be real substantive reform in my eyes - much more so than some of the other things announced. First I hope that families with visas for the US but lacking exit permits can be reunited with thier families here in the US. That would be a remarkable change.

What is going to be most interesting, however, is our reaction to all this. After years of begging the regime to let Cubans free to travel and/or exit are we going to be the ones trying to keep them out? Are we going to adjust wet foot/dry foot in light of the fact that we could be inundated with Cuban "tourists?" How is it going to look when Cuba has a more liberal travel policy than we do?

CUBAWATCHER said...

I am nearly at the point of tears. This is absolutely wonderful news and in my eyes - speaks to the fact that Fidel is either dead or very close to it. Either way, it doesn't really matter - Fidel has become 100 percent irrelevant.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Raul is perhaps planning for his own "stepping down" and is thus, attempting to forge a legacy very quickly. Could be wishful thinking of course (most likely is) but this is significant. Again, it still doesn't solve the problem of Castroism - which needs to be completely and utterly swept into the dustbin of history - along with Batistianoism - but, as I said before, I'll take ANY positive step that will assist my family.

Now I've just got to come up with a few thousand dollars to pay for plane tickets and one helluva family reunion.

Wonderful

BUT

Abajo Raul!

-Anatasio

Mamey said...

Anatasio...I agree with you and hope you are right.

Charlie Bravo said...

Hotel California, on KillCastro, March 31, 2008.
Internet will be next, on KillCastro, March 13, 2008
We reported the end of the tarjeta blanca on those articles.

Charlie Bravo said...

There's also a petition to the National Assembly penned by Anibal Riera Escalane, making the rounds in Cuba and abroad.
We have been informed that one could also visit Cuba with whichever passport one holds, and not necessarily with a Cuban passport. Also, that soon they will establish the right one has to go back to Cuba at whatever time for whatever period of time, and even opening the island for investments and retirement.

Agustin Farinas said...

The fact remains that these are rights that every citizen enjoys in many countries, but for some reason a lot of us are hailing these changes as a miracle. It shows that Cuba is starting to change little by little but at a snail's pace. Cellphones, the right to buy a DVD and a toaster (in the future for now, what wonderful changes! Please, these are things anyone can do in a normal country for Christ's sake. And we are marveled and amzed that the Cubans can enjoy them now. Where was this so called reformer Raul for the las 49 years when these things were prohibited? Well, right next to Fidel, enforcing the prohibition on them. Gee, what a great reformer this guy is!

Charlie Bravo said...

Agustin, I am looking at this process as something that will do away with Castroism.
Why?
Raul has said in private many times that he will retire when he hits 80. That's a short four years away.
In the meantime, he's destroying the myth of his brother, as in any Freudian family tragedy worth of its salt. He will announce more "reforms" (we know that they are really rights that were denied with his conformity and approval) and he will create the right conditions to order that someone gently presses a pillow on the face of his brother.
Then he will go into retirement.
With the protection of the USA.
There's one thing interesting here that no political commenter seems to take into account: raul castro does not have a plan of succession, as castro did.
Maybe one of those expropriated Chinese bodega owners laid the Chinese curse: may you live interesting times. Because, times, even if they're not a-changin' a lot, are indeed interesting.
Cuba was not a normal country for 49 years, and it's not normal now. In the middle of this, we find that raul, who carries a lot of baggage -heavy pieces- is now creating his own book with assorted pages from Mussolini (wellbeing is a patrimony of the state) Stalin(sucession, fascio-communist style), and Franco (let's keep control until I am gone). He's not ripping off a page of Gorbachev, because he knows the man and he knows that he was weak.
This raul castro guy will indeed retire in peace, and his crime account will be ignored by the USA and other countries. In Cuba, they will hail him as the guy who dismantled the revolution from within. Nothing like a murderous old man who is giving his dying brother a ride for his blood soaked money.
In my not so humble opinion, we all need to take an advantage of these "changes". We should send cell phones, computers, dvd's and what not, and use them to fight and win the information war.
We ned to push for our right to visit Cuba, and get together with people who want, and are willing and able to change their country...
And we will ultimately have a part in the changes to come, the real ones.
In the meantime, we need to use any chance we have to do what's needed.

theCardinal said...

agustin - change has to start somewhere. while some of these may in fact be largely cosmetic - change as Obama has proven is more a state of mind than something concrete.

We cannot expect Raul or anyone else in the nomenklatura - to free up markets, open the borders and hold democratic elections overnight and frankly I am not so sure I want that shock treatment anyway. Let them take their baby steps it will have to lead to something or sooner or later the international community will wise up or the Cuban people will demand more. Raul is not Fidel neither the people nor the international community is enthralled by him

Conchscooter said...

If the Cuban people want more let them go for it. Or sit in Miami fiddling with their toasters while expecting everyone else to carry their burdens for them.