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Cuba rejects U.S. move to hamper travel by Cuban citizens

Declaracion para Slider CubaminrexIIOn March 15, the U.S. chargé d’affaires in Havana, Mara Tekach, announced that, as of March 18, the United States would reduce the validity of its B2 visa from 5 years to three months for Cuban citizens, with a single entry, with the supposed purpose of equating these terms with the validity granted by Cuba to U.S. travelers.

In this way, the United States government increases the obstacles for family visits and for other purposes. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects this decision, which constitutes an additional obstacle to the exercise of the right of Cuban citizens to visit their relatives in that country.

This measure comes in addition to the closure of the services of the United States consulate in Havana; the unjustified suspension of the granting of visas to Cubans, forcing them to travel to third countries without any guarantee of being granted a visa; and the U.S. government’s failure to comply with the visa quota established by the Migration Agreements.

This decision also imposes high economic costs on family travel and exchanges in multiple areas. It is not true that this decision was based on the criterion of reciprocity, since Cuba offers every facility for U.S. citizens, from any country in the world, including the United States itself, to obtain a visa, which is issued at once, to travel to Cuba.

If the United States really wants to apply reciprocity, it should immediately open its consulate in Havana, resume the process of granting visas that it arbitrarily and unjustifiably suspended more than a year ago, and eliminate prohibitions preventing U.S. citizens from travelling freely to Cuba.

Cuba reiterates its willingness to continue working to guarantee the increased movement of travelers in both directions in a regular, orderly and safe manner.

Havana, March 16, 2019

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