Saturday, April 23, 2016

Havana Yields To Pressure and Allows Cuban Passengers On Cruise Ships

Havana Yields To Pressure and Allows Cuban Passengers On Cruise Ships /

14ymedio, 22 April 2016 – The Cuban government changed its immigration
policy with regards to maritime travel. The scandal provoked by the
refusal of Carnival cruise lines to sell tickets on its cruises to the
island to citizens of Cuban origin – a policy subsequently rectified by
the cruise line – has forced Havana to authorize the entry and departure
of Cuban citizens "regardless of their immigration status" both as
passengers or crew members on merchant and cruise ships. Similarly, the
same measure will be gradually implemented with regards to pleasure yachts.

The Government issued a news release early Friday that details the new
provisions and reminds crew members wishing to enter Cuba by sea that
they have to apply for the permits "through the established employment

The note also points out that "Cuban citizens residing in the country
will have to have a visa for the country or countries they will visit."

The Government said that the measure that would have prevented travel
between Cuba and the United States by sea was intended to avoid and
prevent "terrorist actions" that "Cuba has been the victim of numerous
times since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959." For the same reason,
changing immigration policy will be accompanied by an exchange with the
US authorities aimed at establishing bilateral measures to ensure
national security of both countries.

Carnival signed contracts with Cuban companies last March for the start
of cruise operations cruise Cuba and the United States and announced
that the first of its cruises would take place on 1 May. However,
controversy erupted when the company's decision not to sell tickets to
Cuban passengers came to like, excusing itself by noting that Cuban law
did not allow entry by sea to Cubans.

The protests of exiles in Miami, which have reached the courts, led US
Secretary of State John Kerry to speak out against the decision of the
shipping company, to ensure that it would not discriminate against
Cubans. Carnival announced earlier this week that it would allow Cubans
to make reservations and that it would try to get the Cuban authorities
to modify the contested legislation. The chain of events has finally
forced the Cuban government to make a decision that it will allow the
signed contract to go forward.

Source: Havana Yields To Pressure and Allows Cuban Passengers On Cruise
Ships / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba -

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