Entries in Visa (3)


Cubans Will Be Able to Leave Island Without Permit Next Year

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HAVANA) -- Cuba will no longer ask its citizens to secure exit permits when they want to travel outside the Communist island.

The state-run newspaper Granma, reported on Tuesday that this change in regulations is part of a broader effort to "update" the island's migration policy and "adjust it to prevailing conditions."

Currently, Cuba is the only country in Latin America where local residents need a special permit to travel abroad.  The process is run by the Ministry of the Interior and has been used in the past to stop political dissidents or highly-skilled individuals from leaving the country.

Granma reported that the travel permit requirement will end on Jan. 13, 2013.  After that date, Cubans who wish to travel abroad will simply have to show up at the airport with a valid passport, just like people in most countries in the world.

The government of Cuba will also allow its citizens living abroad to stay away from the country for up to 24 months, with an option to extend their stay abroad, by applying for an extension at the nearest Cuban embassy.

Currently, Cubans are only allowed to stay away from their country for 11 months.  If they exceed that period, they lose their residency in Cuba, and must forfeit health and education benefits.

According to Granma, these reforms might come with a caveat.

"Measures aimed at preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations shall remain in force," the newspaper said.

Yoani Sánchez, a dissident blogger who has been denied permission to leave Cuba on 20 separate occasions in the past five years, celebrated the new changes on her Twitter account.

"The first thing I thought when I heard of the new Migration Law 'Fidelism is turning to shreds, its falling apart,'" she tweeted in Spanish.

Sánchez uploaded the new law document online and reports that under the reform the price to obtain a Cuban passport will go up from 55 Cuban pesos to 100 Cuban pesos.  The average Cuban salary, Sánchez tweeted, is 20 Cuban pesos a month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Revokes Visas for Haitian Officials over Alleged Election Fraud

File Photo: Angry election protesters fill the streets of Haiti after the handpicked protoge of President Rene Preval had claimed a place in the disputed presidential polls. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. State Department confirmed rumors Friday that it had revoked visas for some Haitian officials and supporters of President Preval, but declined to elaborate because visa records are confidential by law.
A senior U.S. official, however, told ABC News that visas were revoked for nine -- mostly low-level -- members of Preval’s party citing their alleged role in voter fraud in last November’s election.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Revokes Venezuelan Ambassador's Visa after Rejection of US Ambassador to Caracas

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. has revoked the visa of Venezuela's ambassador, Bernardo Alvarez, in retaliation to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's rejection of Obama's proposed envoy, State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirms. 

Earlier this month, Chavez rejected the Obama administration's proposed ambassador, Larry Palmer, to Caracas.  While the U.S. had warned it would retaliate, Chavez dared the U.S. to kick the Venezuelan ambassador out of the country.

"We said there would be consequences when the Venezuelan government rescinded agrement [sic] regarding our nominee -- Larry Palmer.  We have taken appropriate, proportional and reciprocal action," Toner said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio