Questions and Answers on New Migratory Measures

Several questions have risen around the four measures to be passed next January 1st. Here are some answers to some of the most recurrent questions on the issue:

-What does it mean to eliminate the requirement of enabling the passport for Cuban residents abroad?

With this measure it’s eliminated the step which although a one-time and free procedure in the consular offices, it lengthened the process for obtaining the passport, and people spent money and time in trips and lodgings, among others. Since January 1st, 2018, Cubans residing abroad will only need a valid passport to enter or exit the Island.

-With the elimination of this procedure, does it change what was established on the renovation or extension of the passport?

No. Cubans residing abroad must renovate the passport every six years and over that period of time they must get a passport extension every two years, to make it still valid. After the six years established in the legislation a new one needs to be made. The extension requirement will remain intact after the elimination of the procedure.

-Who won't be able to travel to Cuba even though they are Cuban resident abroad?

  

As established in article 24.1 of Law 302 of year 2012, modifying Law 1312 of year 1976, Migration Law, it would be inadmissible everyone with records of terrorist activities, human or weapon traffic, drug traffic, money laundry; or tied with crimes against humanity, the human dignity, common health; guilty of organizing, encouraging, carrying out, or participate in hostile actions against the political, economic and social foundations of the Cuban State; when defense and national security matters deem it that way, among others. These requirements stay effective.

-Who is benefit with the authorization that Cuban residents abroad can enter and exit national territory in pleasure boats?

This measure is the continuation of abovementioned authorization so that residents in Cuba or abroad, regardless their migratory condition can travel on board cruisers or join as passengers and crews in merchant ships that dock in Cuba and was passed in April 2016. All Cubans living abroad are benefit and wish to come on a pleasure boat, yachts or similar crafts.

-Will Cubans residing here be able to travel to other countries or return to Cuba in pleasure boats (yachts or similar crafts) belonging to Cubans that live in other countries?

NOT for the time being. According to a reliable source some work is still in progress in that matter and other related migratory issues, but the restriction still applies for those residing in the Island to exit or enter in pleasure boats that dock in Hemingway Marine or Varadero Marine.

-Why eliminating the ban after eight years have passed for those who left Cuba illegally and keep it for those who did it through the illegally occupied territory by United States in Guantanamo Bay?

People who dared in illegal exits mostly via marine, jeopardized their lives, those of their family, broke Cuban laws as well as international, and risked the execution of international agreements, besides risking national security; however, once the U.S. eliminated the wet-feet dry-feet politics used with political purposes to illegal Cuban migrants, as well as the elimination of the “parole” program to encourage the desertion of Cuban doctors working in third countries, it has shown a considerable decrease in the illegal flow to the U.S., thus ratifying they were incentives for illegal migration. The measure benefits all those who left Cuba illegally since year 2010 until today who will be able to travel to Cuba starting next January 1st.

In the case of those who left illegally through the Guantanamo Naval Base, committed a serious violation of laws and put at risk the national security of Cuba, hence they are forbidden entrance to the country for good.

-Will people who abandoned Cuban official missions abroad be able to come with these measures?

No. The prohibition of returning to Cuba remains -for the time established, up to five years in some cases and eight years in others - for those who abandoned overseas official missions with the purpose of emigrating, we are talking about doctors, diplomats or sport delegations, or other sort.

-What does it imply by the “elimination of the domicile" requirement?

  

Children of Cubans who were born abroad will no longer have to complete the domicile requirement to become Cuban citizens. With the elimination of this demand, they won't have to reside for a while in Cuba so they can later decide on taking the documents that validate them as Cuban, but by common law for being the son of both parents, or one of them Cuban natural.

-Do stateless persons disappear, that is, people who could not take either nationality?

One of the main legal obstacles this measure eliminates is that there won’t be any more stateless person; that is, the children of Cubans, born in countries that don't grant the nationality for being born there. Some nations only grant citizenship by what is internationally known as blood right which is simply being descendent of citizens from that nation, and not for being natural from that country. With the current legislation, the children of Cubans living in those countries didn't have citizenship, neither Cuban, neither of the State.

Since January 1st, 2018, all those born from a Cuban mother or father will be able to process the nationality through Cuba’s consulate offices, without the need to travel to Cuba and reside for some time here.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Wounds Cuban Sovereignty

The most recent order by US President Barack Obama on U.S. policy towards Cuba, contains contradictory elements, among them, the policy linked to the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo.

The document recognizes Cuban sovereignty and self determination, but the US government has made it clear that it has no intentions to modify the administrative orders of the naval base, a place where there is a prison, which has been internationally denounced as a torture center.

This territory is occupied, against the will of the Cuban people and government, but the US administration maintains the idea that the installation permits the improvement and preservation of regional security.

Cuban newspaper Granma has published information on the center of torture in Guantanamo, a chapter to be remembered as one of the darkest in the history of violations of human rights by the US.

The publication recalls that during the administration of George W. Bush and his alleged crusade against international terrorism the military base's facilities held hundreds of detainees without a legal process, many of them having been transferred from U.S. secret prisons in third countries.

Under the terms of the lease, forced during the U.S. military occupation at the beginning of the last century, the territory where the base is located is Cuban, but Washington has full control over it to carry out its operations.

It's something that lawyers call 'a legal black hole'. The only advantage of the facility for the United States is the possibility of carrying out torture and arbitrary detentions without accountability to the courts of that country or the international community, said the newspaper.

Since the opening of the prison in 2002, 779 people have been confined in the facility, 60 of them this month. In addition, 20 individuals remain in incarceration, although their release has been approved by the U.S. Government.

Similarly, 12 of those held, arrived when they were under the age of 18, including a prisoner who was just 13.

Another 31 still have not received approval for their release despite the fact that they have not been accused of committing any crime.

More than 200 agents from the US Federal Bureau of investigations (FBI) have reported abusive treatment toward prisoners, in addition, seven US soldiers resigned or requested their transfer, after expressing worries about the injustices in the torture center.

Since the announcement of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States on December 17th, 2014, Cuba has been presenting the case of the naval base of Guantanamo as one of the main topics to be resolve, for the normalization of the bilateral links, and the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against the Caribbean island.

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Hurricane Matthew Causes Destruction on its Way through Cuba

Guantanamo, Cuba, Oct 5 (Prensa Latina) Deputy Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ramon Espinosa said here that the hurricane Matthew left plenty of damages on its way through the eastern end of Cuba, although no casualties are reported so far.

Espinosa told the national media that the municipalities of Baracoa, Imias, Maisi and San Antonio del Sur, in the eastern province of Guantanamo, remain isolated due to the strong winds and heavy rain of the hurricane.

The hurricane, which hit Cuban territory yesterday with category four on the Saffir-Simpson scale, threw large stones on the roads, which precludes the movement by land to the affected areas.

Espinosa said that in the city of Baracoa, with which the authorities have kept communications, much destruction is reported but no casualties so far.

'In contrast, the situation in Imias, Maisi and San Antonio del Sur is more complicated because the real situation of the territories is unknown', said Espinosa.

'There is no communication with Maisi, there might be much destruction because the hurricane was affecting that territory for several hours', he said.

Images posted on social networks and various media show partial and total collapses, coastal flooding and other damage caused by the hurricane.

After hitting eastern Cuba, the hurricane Matthew moves 19 kilometers per hour with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour toward the Bahamas and the United States.

  • Published in Cuba

Hurricane Matthew Moves Away from Cuba

Havana, Oct 5 (Prensa Latina) Hurricane Matthew is moving away from Cuba after lashing the eastern region of the country, according to the latest weather forecast, although strong winds and rains will persist.

The category three hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale was at six o'clock local time at 21.3 degrees north latitude and 74.6 degrees west longitude, about 120 kilometers west of the city of Baracoa, the first village founded in Cuba by Spaniards.

Its speed, heading north, is 17 kilometers per hour and its maximum sustained winds reach 205 kilometers per hour, with a central pressure of 962 hPa.

In the coming hours, hurricane force winds will decrease in the northeastern province of Holguin, while tropical storm winds will affect even Camagüey, located more towards the center of the island.

For its part, rains will remain to the east, with an average that can exceed 200 millimeters in specific locations, while sea flooding are still strong on the north coast up to four meters and waves up to eight meters.

The next tropical cyclone warning on Matthew will be issued at nine o'clock, local time.

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Matthew Will Make Landfall in Guantanamo, Eastern Cuba

Havana, Oct 4 (Prensa Latina) The director of the National Forecasting Center of the Cuban Meteorology Institute (INSMET), Jose Rubiera, announced today that Hurricane Matthew in its slow progress is moving closer to Guantanamo, the easternmost province of Cuba.

According to its current path, the direct impact of the hurricane will be in Guantanamo, Rubiera said during a special live television program Cuban television has been broadcasting all day.

The weather event is moving at 15 kilometers per hour, and its minimum central pressure has dropped to 934 hPa, he added.

The last tropical cyclone warning predicted an increase in rainfall, with an average of between 200 and 300 millimeters, higher in some localities and mountainous regions.

According to a press release, there will be strong, heavy seas on both eastern coasts and heavy flooding in the south eastern coast of the country.

Coastal flooding is also expected in the northern coast of Guantanamo and in the neighboring province of Holguin. The hurricane will also increase in strength from a catergory 4 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Flooding will be moderate on the north coast of Las Tunas and Camaguey and there will be slight coastal flooding in the Gulf of Guacanayabo once the hurricane makes landfall in Cuba

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CELAC calls for return of Guantanamo naval base to Cuba

National coordinators of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), meeting in Quito, Ecuador, have issued a communiqué calling for the return of the Guantanamo naval base to Cuba by the US.

Reaffirming the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, adopted at its Second Summit in Havana on January 29, 2014, CELAC said that the United States naval base in Guantanamo has existed for more than a century on Cuban territory.

In the light of the process towards the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, which is an element that contributes to the stability of Latin America and the Caribbean, CELAC said that the return to Cuba of the territory occupied by the US naval base in Guantanamo should be a relevant element of that process, through a bilateral dialogue in conformity with international law.

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