Raul Castro hints at easing of Cuba’s migration policy

August 2nd, 2011 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS  

Havana, Aug 2 (IANS/EFE) President Raul Castro announced Monday that his government is working on making Cuba’s immigration policy “more flexible”.

Gen. Castro commented on the matter at the close of the first of the two annual sessions of Cuba’s parliament, the official news agency Prensa Latina reported.

“Cuba is working on updating the prevailing immigration policy,” said the president, though without specifying if that process will include the abolition of the so-called “white card”, or exit permit that Cubans must request to be allowed to leave the country.

The step is intended “as a contribution to increasing the nation’s links with the community of emigrants, whose composition has varied in connection with the initial decades of the Revolution”, Castro said.

He said that today the majority of Cuban emigrants leave the country “for economic reasons and almost all retain their love for the family and the homeland that gave them birth”.

However, he also emphasised that the process of making Cuban immigration policy more flexible will have to take into account “the right of the revolutionary State to defend itself from the interfering and subversive plans of the US government and its allies”.

The future immigration regime, Gen. Castro added, will include measures “to preserve the human capital created by the Revolution in the face of the theft of talent that the powerful nations practice”.

The 80-year-old Raul Castro Sunday marked his fifth year of leading Cuba after elder brother Fidel delegated to him his own government duties July 31, 2006, after falling seriously ill.

–IANS/EFE
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