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Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.

How Cubans Travel

October 29, 2013 | Print Print |

Dariela Aquique

Hammer-Aitov projection of the world. Graphic: wikipedia.org

HAVANA TIMES — On the morning of Tuesday, October 16, 2012, Cuba’s radio and television news programs, printed and online newspapers and the regular edition of the Official Gazette of the Republic announced that the government had decreed the modification of the island’s migratory legislation.

This awakened much enthusiasm among the population, particularly those who had intentions of leaving the country, be it for personal or professional reasons and on a temporary or permanent basis.

In the first moments following the news, some issues were not understood very well. Of course, to those who had no experience with or any information regarding the steps needed to secure a visa or travel abroad, everything seemed easy.

They assumed, for instance, that, once they had their valid passports and the financial means to travel, it was simply a question of requesting a visa from the country they wished to travel to and nothing more.

People continue to talk about Cuba’s migratory reforms and to look for different alternatives to be able to travel, for Cubans require visas to travel to nearly every country in the world. Securing them can be a bit tricky, for, many a time, you need a work pre-contract, a letter of invitation or proof of financial solvency from a bank (an account that usually must have more than 2,000 dollars in it) in order to obtain a tourism visa.

Thus, Cuba’s elimination of the travel permit and letter of invitation as requirements do not broaden people’s possibilities of leaving the island much. Some countries allow Cubans to enter their territory without a visa, but none is very appealing for Cubans, nor could they ever become a migratory destination point.

Let us look at the list of these countries.

In Africa:

- Kenya (For stays not to exceed 90 days. US 25 $ must be paid upon arrival).
- Republic of Bostwana (For stays not to exceed 90 days)
- Guinea (For stays not to exceed 90 days)
- Namibia (For stays not to exceed 90 days)
- Seychelles (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Togo (For stays not to exceed 7 days)
- Uganda (Tourism visas received upon arrival)

In Asia:

- Cambodia (For stays not to exceed 30 days. US 20 $ must be paid upon arrival)
- Georgia (Tourism visas received upon arrival)
- Kirguistan (For stays not to exceed 30 days. Between US $ 40 and 100 must be paid upon arrival)
- Laos (For stays not to exceed 30 days. US 30 $ must be paid upon arrival)
- Malaysia (For stays not to exceed 90 days)
- Maldive Islands (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Mongolia (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Singapore (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- East Timor (For stays not to exceed 30 days. US 25 $ must be paid upon arrival)

- Indonesia (No visa required for stays not to exceed 30 days. US 10 $ must be paid upon arrival)

In Oceania:

-Cook Islands (For stays not to exceed 31 days)
-Federated States of Micronesia (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Niue (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Palau (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Samoa (For stays not to exceed 60 days)
- Tuvalu (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Vanuatu (For stays not to exceed 30 days)

In Europe:

- Belorussia (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Montenegro (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Russia (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Serbia (For stays not to exceed 90 days)

In the Americas:

- Dominica (For stays not to exceed 28 days)
- Granada (For stays not to exceed 60 days)
- Haiti (For stays not to exceed 90 days)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis (For stays not to exceed 30 days)
- Saint Lucia (For stays not to exceed 45 days)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (For stays not to exceed 30 days)

It is interesting to see that Cuba’s so-called “sister nations”, like Angola, where thousands of Cubans lost their lives in a war, don’t appear in this list. So, having fought next to them in a war doesn’t quite entitle us to travel to their country freely? What of Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Bolivia and the closest sister nation of all, Venezuela?

To be continued…


What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Ironic isn’t it? As an American, I just hop on a plane to Venezuela with no visa required. America is that sulfury devil yet Venezuela welcomes me and my USD with open arms. Cubans, who are all but running Venezuela, still need to receive a visa in order to visit. Jus’ sayin’…