December 12, 2017

Cuba looking at allowing overseas travel and tourism

Soon Cubans forced to look at beaches like this for 50 years, might be allowed to go and look at something different somewhere else.

The Cuban government says it is looking at plans to allow its citizens to travel abroad as tourists for the first time in more than 50 years.

The proposed move is part of a massive reform package approved by the Communist Party Congress in April, designed to turn around Cuba’s flagging economy.

Other reforms include legalising the private sale of property and cars and expanding private co-operatives.

Like most grand announcements from politicians the world over, these reforms are big on headlines and small on detail.

Regarding the foreign travel, the guideline issued by the congress only says, “Study a policy that allows Cubans living in the country to travel abroad as tourists.”

At the moment, Cubans wanting to travel abroad must file an exit request that may be turned down. The paperwork involved can cost hundreds of dollars at a time.

Since the communist revolution of 1959, only high-profile Cubans have been allowed to travel abroad.

Newswarped, reading between the lines thinks the government is saying that they would like to open foreign travel up to ordinary Cubans, but they haven’t worked out a system for ensuring they actually come back.

Cuban President Raul Castro took over power from his brother Fidel in 2008. He has tried to bring in gradual free-market reforms as a way of averting an economic meltdown.

Cuba as long suffered economically due to its self-imposed isolation and the turning off of the Soviet aid tap with the end of the cold war.