Breaking the status quo

Travel reforms “potaje”

January 16th, 2013 | Posted by Alex in Cuba travel | Cuban reforms

1. An excellent article by Tomas Bilbao about what Cuba’s reforms tell us about the Cuban leadership. There’s more truth here than in the entire archives of Blablablog.

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Cuba’s reforms indicate that the current Cuban leadership understands it must deliver results to gain legitimacy. Fidel legitimated his rule by virtue of being father of the revolution. Unlike his brother, Raul cannot simply blame Cuban workers for the country’s poor economic performance and impel the Cuban people to make endless sacrifices in the name of the revolution.

2. Supposedly Yoani has been told she’ll be able to get a passport and travel. Ya veremos.

3. The reforms have brought up to the surface some interesting stories about how some Cubans have been traveling and living outside Cuba without severing ties with the island. Some examples of these “dual residents” here and here.

4. Finally, this article by Maria Werlau in the New York Sun is fairly representative of the missing-the-forest-for-the-trees hardline reaction, but it does make a very interesting analogy to illustrate how unfair are the fees charged by the Cuban government:

In the United States, a comparable passport fee would be $19,836.84. In relative terms, U.S. citizens would have to pay the government approximately $20,000 to obtain a passport, then pay an additional $4,000 every two years plus renew on year six, again paying $20,000.

BTW, these are the new, reduced fees. Wow.

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