Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Cubans Traveling Abroad
Cubans have always been permitted to travel abroad, but they were required to
seek special government permission to do so. This permission was almost always
denied. This established a Catch-22 situation in which travel was technically legal,
but practically impossible. In recent years, travel restrictions have been greatly re-
laxed. Cubans are now permitted to visit other countries, provided that they have a
valid reason for travel and an appropriate foreign visitor visa from the host country
(often the most difficult document to obtain). The high cost of travel has still largely
kept this new found opportunity out of the hands of the average Cuban.
Many foreign-based organizations operate throughout the island with the goal of
making travel dreams become a reality. Usually these organizations are run by for-
eign governments, especially from Europe and South American, offering short, all
expense paid trips outside of the country, as educational, cultural, or language ex-
changes. Applications for these trips are high and acceptance rates are very low.
Applicants are usually young adults, under the age of 25. For many Cubans, these
exchanges are seemingly the best, or sometimes the only, opportunity they will
have to travel abroad and experience life in another country, if only for a week or
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