EspañolOn Friday, April 22, the Cuban government announced that it will allow the entry and exit of Cuban citizens by sea, regardless of their immigration status. The measure comes after cruise companies warned Cuban-Americans that they could not travel to their own country due to a long-standing policy of the Castro regime.
According to a press release, the island’s government announced that starting next Tuesday, April 26, Cubans can enter or leave their country on merchant or cruise ships, either as passengers or members of the crew.
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The official document published by the island’s state newspaper Granma says that “to enlist as crew on merchant ships and cruise, Cuban citizens residents in the island must do so through established employer organizations.”
The statement also reports that the Cuban government will soon announce the conditions to allow Cubans to embark on boats and recreational yachts on the island.
The measures are poised to facilitate the contracts signed with US cruise company Carnival, which will start operations between the United States and Cuba next month, and as an upgrade to the immigration policy of both countries and the need to adjust to the conditions of the present and foreseeable future.
The decision must solve previous issues that Carnival was already facing in Miami, because they were not accepting passengers born in Cuba, even if they were American citizens or residents. Cuban immigrants in the US had described the policy as “discriminatory.”
For decades, Cuban-Americans had been banned from entering Cuba by sea due to opposition from Havana, even though the current immigration law established since 2012 is not explicit about it.