University of Denver academic speaks of change in Cuban travel restrictions

Cuban native and University of Denver Academic Arturo López-Levy speaks about the change in Cuban travel restrictions and the impact it will have on Cubans.


Cubans flocked to immigration offices and travel agencies on Monday, eager to take advantage of a lifting of government travel restrictions that have been in place since Fidel Castro was a dark-bearded firebrand in his 30s.

As of Monday, most Cubans can head for the airport with only a passport, a plane ticket and a visa, if required, from the country they intend to visit.

“We have lived for decades in captivity,” said Marta Rodríguez, 65, a retired office manager who was waiting to pick up a tourist visa from the United States Interests Section in Havana. “It’s a positive move — one they should have taken 50 years ago.”

The change is not expected to prompt a major exodus, because most countries use entrance visas to control the number of visiting Cubans, and international travel remains way beyond the means of most islanders, who earn state salaries of about $20 per month. There are, of course, Cubans who want to travel from the island and return.

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Ivy Hughes is a Colorado native and coffee shop junkie. Contact her here.
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