The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) confirmed this Monday that the collection of the extension for Cubans’ stay abroad beyond the 24 months developed by law will stay suspended till “normality is achieved in terms of regular flights.”
” The key aspect will be when we return to normal in terms of routine flights, due to the fact that ultimately what a Cuban citizen needs to be able to return to the nation is a flight,” stated Ernesto Soberón Guzmán, basic director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Locals Abroad of MINREX, in action to OnCuba throughout a press conference.
The suspension of the collection of the extension, which allows those who have actually exceeded the time developed by the island’s immigration law to maintain home in Cuba, had been decreed last March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its objective then, described Soberón, was “to guarantee that Cubans who were abroad when flights in between Cuba and abroad ended up being challenging due to the pandemic, preserve their irreversible house in Cuba without needing to perform any consular treatments or go to any consulate, given that it was a circumstance that was beyond these citizens’ will.”
Nevertheless, recently the Cuban consulates restored the tariff for each month of extension abroad, after the statement by Havana of a brand-new strategy to confront COVID-19 and the entry of most of the country into the so-called “brand-new typical.”
The procedure, nevertheless, was quickly rectified, after the criticism and discomfort produced in a large part of the Cuban community outside the island. Last Friday, simply 4 days after the charge was restored, MINREX revealed that “the possibility for our nationals to go back to the nation without needing to carry out consular procedures to extend their stay abroad, while this scenario persists,” is extended.
Now, Soberón specified that in order to make this choice they had actually taken into account the still not opened Havana airport, the primary and largest functional capacity in the country, and the break outs of the disease in different countries, a few of which have crucial communities of Cubans. In addition, he described that “the opinions gotten from various associations of Cubans living abroad, along with criteria revealed on a personal level by Cubans who have been unable to go back to our country” were considered.
Due to this, he stated, the extension– which he described as “a treatment not used much” before the pandemic– will remain “for the moment,” and he affirmed that the problem would be re-analyzed when regular flights from and to Cuba are normalized.
” There will be nations where there are a number of flights that permit the return of everyone who wants to return; there will be others in which the epidemiological situation will not enable that amount of flights; there will be countries that will have their own policies, and all this will need to be taken into consideration when making new decisions, since it is a matter that surpasses the will of individuals, and it would not be reasonable not to extend the stay of whoever is in a nation from where there are no flights when their interest is to return to Cuba,” he said.
No taboo topics
Throughout the press conference, the basic director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Locals Abroad of MINREX also referred to the work carried out by Cuban consulates and consular workplaces outside the island to tend to the Cuban community residing abroad during the pandemic.
He affirmed that, among other actions, the transfer to Cuba of more than 5,700 Cubans stranded in 56 countries, on 94 charter flights, was negotiated with airline companies and authorities from different countries; which consular assistance was offered to Cuban team members registered in more than 12 cruise liner and more than 20 merchant ships, stranded in ports throughout the world.
In addition, he stated that “priority was given to the cases of Cuban people who were contaminated with COVID-19” outside the country and “the needed support to the friends and families of Cuban people who, sadly, have passed away abroad due to the fact that of this disease” was provided, although he didn’t give data regarding these cases.
Likewise, he ensured that there are no issues vetoed in Cuba’s dialogue with its emigrated people, consisting of the duplicated claim that the rate be minimized for the issuance of passports, among the most pricey on the planet, which the biennial payment to keep it existing be gotten rid of.
” It is among the subjects that are frequently talked about in all the conferences accepted Cubans (citizens abroad) and it is a topic that remains in discussion, that is under analysis,” said Soberón in reaction to the Spanish firm EFE.
According to the official, the primary objective of Cuban migration policy “is and will continue to be to strengthen ties” with its community abroad, which is estimated at around two million individuals.
Concerning the high expense of the Cuban passport and its cost for extending it every two years, he stated that the island’s federal government is “fully mindful” that it is one of the pending issues.
” This is among the topics that is often gone over in all the meetings with Cubans abroad, and it stays in discussion, in analysis,” he acknowledged.
Soberón pointed out that the policy towards the Cuban community abroad “is kept under continuous analysis” which “there are no taboo topics that can not be talked about between Cuba and its nationals abroad.”
” Not whatever is resolved in relations in between Cuba and Cubans abroad,” included the official, who said that the only thing he opposes “is the devastating visions that there are issues that have no service. Far it has been revealed that all concerns concerning relations in between Cuba and Cubans abroad have been gradually resolved.”
” In the future we will continue along the very same lines,” he concluded.