Cuba's exit visa officially abolished

2013-01-14 12:25
Havana - For the first time in over 51 years Cubans can travel abroad freely.

According to the statute published in the Official Gazette, Cubans can now travel abroad without an exit permit or a foreign invitation provided they have a valid passport. The law came into effect at midnight local time (0500 GMT).

The government plans to lift restrictions was announced in October 2012. The historic moment puts an end to state imposed restriction dating back to 1961 - aimed at stopping a mass migration of people fleeing the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.

As of Monday 14 January Cubans will no longer require the expensive visa along with a invitation from the party being visited in the destination country - they simply have to show a passport and, if needed, a visa from the country they are traveling to.

The changes are the latest reform under President Raul Castro, who has modestly liberalized Cuba's Soviet-style economy.

Read more on:    travel international

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