Major Development - The Missourian: Opinion

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Major Development

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Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 6:32 pm

Probably not many Americans with the exception of people in Florida paid much attention to the announcement that the Cuban government will relax travel restrictions for its citizens. This is a major development for the Cuban people who have wanted relaxed travel freedoms ever since the Castro revolution and takeover of the country. The new freedom will be effective in January.

It will be less expensive to obtain an exit visa. It now costs $150, which is about six months of a typical Cuban’s salary. Under the new regulations, Cubans will be able to live outside the island for two years. All Cubans will have to do to leave the island is to present a passport and a visa from the country they plan to visit. The present law is that they can live in another country for 11 months and if they don’t return they lose all of their property and other rights.

The U.S. is taking a cautious stance on this new regulation in Cuba. There is no doubt many Cubans will apply for visas from this country. How many to issue will be a question that still has to be answered. Most Cubans seeking to travel want to come to America. There’s no doubt about that. Most who visit will want to stay.

Cuba will restrict travel if they believe there is a national security issue.

American visitors to Cuba have found the people to be very friendly, but very poor. Communism has failed. Cuba doesn’t have much of an economy, with the average pay being about $25 a month, and families can only afford meat once or twice a month. Many Cubans have fled the country, seeking a better life.

When Cuban President Raul Castro assumed office after his brother retired for age and health reasons, he said he wanted to remove strict travel regulations.

Many Americans, especially those who have visited Cuba, disagree with the U.S.’s policy in restricting travel to that country. If there would be a free flow of people between the two countries, it not only would benefit the Cuban economy, it eventually would lead to the end of communism there. If more Cubans could experience life in America, they would see the difference between the two countries and push for change in Cuba. The communists know that, and that’s why they have had the strict travel regulations. Why the change? Because the communist leaders know to sustain their control they must offer more freedoms. The people are restless, and that’s why for some years the communists have permitted bits of capitalism to slowly emerge.

Communism has failed in Cuba. The victims are the Cuban people.

/opinion

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