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Rules get tougher on travel by Cubans

Posted on Thu, May. 03, 2007

CUBA
Rules get tougher on by Cubans
BY WILFREDO CANCIO ISLA
El Nuevo Herald

A new Cuban government regulation that took effect Wednesday will make
it more difficult for some Cubans abroad to invite relatives and friends
on the island to visit them.

Resolution 87/2007, issued by the Foreign Ministry, requires such
invitations to be submitted through Cuban consulates abroad, notarized
and in accordance with the laws of the country where they are requested.

But the consulates will ''have the authority to reject the invitation
when there are elements that recommend that,'' added the resolution,
published in the official gazette.

Many Cubans have long used such invitations as a way of obtaining Cuban
government permission to leave the island and remain abroad.

Before the new regulation, the invitations could be certified in Cuba at
the International Legal Consultancy, a quasi-government agency with
branches in Havana and other parts of Cuba.

That option could speed up the process and make it cheaper, but was open
to corruption.

The regulation will affect Cuban Americans who used the Consultancy to
certify their invitations, but not those who use U.S.-based travel
agencies to handle their invitations. Those agencies already process
their invitations through the Cuban consulate in Washington, agency
officials said.

''I believe this measure was conceived to rationalize and guarantee the
consular work on a process that was totally out of control,'' said
Armando García, president of the Marazul travel agency in Miami.

http://www.miamiherald.com/581/story/94617.html

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