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Tourist Visa Process for Cubans Ecuador Will Expedite
The consul to Cuba of the republic of Ecuador, Soraya Encalada, said her country is willing to expedite the process to grant tourist visas to Cubans wanting to travel to the South American nation.

The official made that statement when she addressed the Cuban press in Havana after Ecuador announced Cubans will require tourist visas, valid for multiple entries, from December first.

She explained the procedure to apply for such visa at the Ecuadorean embassy, where a group of Cubans gathered concerned about the reimbursement of the tickets they had bought on advance, before the new measure was announced.

Encalada assured the press that they will expedite the process, and for that reason, the Consular Office will extend their working hours from Mondays to Sundays. She explained Cubans can apply for their visa online at www.consuladovirtual.gob.ec.

"As of this moment the website is operational, and we are already processing several applications, in order to grant as many visas as possible in the shortest amount of time," she said.

The requirements are for the applicant to show through a bank statement or debit card that he / she has at least 400 dollars per month he wants to stay in Ecuador. The visa will be valid for 90 days in a calendar year, and will cost 30 US dollars.

Regarding the reimbursement of the money for tickets purchased to fly after December 1st, she said the consulate doesn't have any authority over commercial policies, especially in the private sector, thought she didn't rule out the possibility that airlines will reimburse people affected with the new measure.

She suggested those who will not travel to visit the airlines' offices to learn on steps to take on this regard.

Looking for answers, Cuban News Agency went to the Copa Airlines office in Havana, one of the companies that sell the biggest amount of tickets to Ecuador.

Lourdes Goicoechea, Copa's sales manager, said those that bought tickets with them and want their Money back can do it, since the company's policy states clients have a year to do it. The penalties will depend on the amount paid for the ticket, she said.

One of Copa's clients, Alvaro Valle, said that when he heard about the visa requirement, he came to the office to postpone his flight to Guayaquil for January, and didn't have any problems to get his ticket changed. He said others were in the same situation, and praised the good service and ample information received from Copa's officials. / By CNA.

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