The Cuban 'exit visa' will no longer necessary for Cuban citizens wishing to leave the country beginning Jan. 13 according to the New York Times.
The New York Times states that the visa restricted Cubans from leaving the country even for a few days. The new policy will allow citizens to leave the country with just a passport.
According to the Los Angeles Times, travelers can still be denied a passport for travel for "reasons of public interest."
The Los Angeles Times reports that Cubans can now stay out of the country for 24 months as opposed to 11 months.
This new policy is a step in the right direction according to the New York Times. After Raul Castro took over the Cuban government for his ailing brother Fidel in 2006, several changes have been implemented to better Cuban society, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times reports Cubans can now buy and sell houses and own cell phones and computers.
According to the New York Times, the reason for such a policy is economic growth. The government hopes Cubans will leave the country to make money elsewhere and return to spend their money in Cuba. This in turn will boost the economy, reports the New York Times.
This new policy could pose a problem for other countries such as the United States according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times states "Under its "wet foot, dry foot" policy, the U.S. allows any Cubans who make it to U.S. shores to apply for permanent residence after a year of good behavior." It could be hard to decipher who is vacationing and who is trying to leave Cuba for good.
According to the New York Times, the new Cuban policy is still being studied by the United States, but for now the U.S. policy remains unchanged reports the Los Angeles Times.