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Cuba: New Maritime Regulations for Nationals Adopted
Cruise Amadea entering the bay of Santiago de Cuba. Photo: Radio Mambi
New migration regulations were published Friday by Granma daily on lifting prohibitions on Cuban nationals to enter or exit the country by ship, which had been in force for years to prevent terrorist actions of which Cuba had for long been the target.

The announcement recalls that on March 22 this year, the US Carnival Cruise company signed accords with Cuban entities to begin operations between the two countries as of May 2016.

Another accord was signed February 16 establishing regular flights between the USA and Cuba, the announcement reads and adds that given the current update of the island migration policy and the need to adapt it to current and future conditions, the Cuban government decided to adopt new measures like:

Authorizing the entrance and exit of Cuba by its nationals, disregarding their migratory status, as passengers and crew of merchant ships. Cubans residing on the island must go through the established employment agencies with the aim of becoming crew members.

Authorizing the entrance and exit of Cubans, disregarding their migratory status as passengers or crew of cruise ships. Again, Cuba residents on the island must go through employment agencies.

The announcement says that the two previous measures will be implemented on April 26.

A third measure implies the authorization in a gradual manner and once all conditions are created, of the entrance and exit of Cuban nationals, disregarding their migration status, as passengers and crew of leisure boats (yachts). This implementation of this measure is to be announced.

Cubans residing on the island would need a visa for the countries to visit, the announcement reads and notes that Cuban and US authorities have exchanged on issues related to law enforcement, terrorism, maritime navigation and security, the trafficking in persons, as well as trips and trade along with other topics related to the national security of both countries.

The announcement insists n the need to advance of bilateral cooperation in all those areas to prevent and face any terrorist actions against Cuba, which were the reasons to establish the prohibition that Cuban living abroad could only enter the country by plane.

The measure was established to prevent the use of boats to carry out such violent acts against Cuba, which has been the victim of those events in numerous occasions since the 1959 revolution triumph. The announcement on Granma newspaper ends by recalling that in contrast to these measures, the US government still prohibits its citizens to freely travel to Cuba. / ACN.

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  • William Read

    This is a progressive move, but Cuba must be vigilant to ensure that ant-Cuban elements do not exploit it to travel to the island to disrupt the peace and good order of the country. Any such move to encourage any such individuals to travel to the island should be firmly dealt with by the Cuban law enforcement agencies.