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Cuba Lifts Travel Restrictions, Allows Emigrants To Come Home



HAVANA- Effective from midnight local time on January 14, thanks to a new reform by the Cuban government, Cuban citizens are now allowed to apply for passports, without having to apply for special exit visas.

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Photo: Rindo75 via Wikipedia

First announced in October, these new regulations include an extended period for visitors to the country – increasing from 60 days to 90. The passport, a basic document for many people around the world, will be valid for two years and can be renewable for up to six. Another novelty, according to EFE, is that Cubans will be allowed to stay abroad for 11-24 months without having to apply for any extensions.

Cuban daily Granma reports that the measures were taken not because of any pressure, but to deal with the state of the economy, as well as the current migration situation. The newspaper's editorial writes: "The new immigration measures announced by the sovereign state of Cuba doesn't constitute an isolated event, but comes with the irreversible normalization between emigration and the homeland."

Prensa Latina writes that the Cuban government has also decided to allow the temporary return of those who emigrated illegally after the 1994 migration accord with the USA and who lost their Cuban citizenship after eight years abroad. Since the 1994 accord, 20,000 non-migrant visas have been granted annually to Cubans.

Doctors and professional athletes who have left for more than eight years will also be able to return in a bid to avoid the "brain drain," with the exception of those who present a risk to Defense or National Security or who had escaped the country through the U.S. Naval Base of Guantánamo.

A problem that will affect this reform is the price of the passport. In a country where the average monthly salary is equivalent to $20, the passport will cost an estimated $100.

Approximately, 1.4 million Cubans live abroad – 85.7% in the United States, the majority in Florida.

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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