Does the Carta Blanca return to Cuba? new draft Immigration Law would limit leaving the country

Does the Carta Blanca return to Cuba? new draft Immigration Law would limit leaving the country
Does the Carta Blanca return to Cuba? new draft Immigration Law would limit leaving the country

This bill includes articles that worry many, such as the officialization of the exile of Cuban citizens and the prohibition of leaving the country for those considered to be of “public interest.” These measures are reminiscent of the “carte blanche”, a document that Cuban citizens needed until 2013 to leave the country, granted or denied at the discretion of the authorities.

Limitations on Entry and Exit of the Country

The Immigration Authority will have the power to limit the entry into the country of Cuban citizens under certain conditions:

  • Defense, National Security or Internal Order.
  • Prevention of epidemics, catastrophes or other public calamities.
  • Order and public interest.
  • Other reasons that represent a serious danger to citizens.

In addition, article 97 of the project establishes several cases in which a person will not be able to leave the country:

  • Be under criminal proceedings or with a precautionary measure prohibiting departure.
  • Have pending compliance with a criminal sanction.
  • Compliance with Military Service.
  • Defense and National Security Reasons.
  • Obligations with the Cuban State or civil responsibility.
  • Preservation of the qualified workforce.
  • Protection of official information.
  • Minors without parental or court authorization.
  • Other reasons of public interest determined by the authorities.
  • Failure to comply with the requirements established by law.

Concerns and Criticisms

Legal experts and activists fear that this law will further restrict leaving the country, negatively impacting the Cuban diaspora and those seeking better opportunities or to escape political persecution. The vagueness of terms such as “reasons of Defense and National Security” or “reasons of public interest” allows arbitrary interpretations that could be used to repress dissidents, activists and journalists, limiting freedom of expression and political opposition.

Requiring specific authorizations for the skilled workforce and the security of official information also restricts opportunities for personal and professional development, preventing highly qualified professionals from participating in international projects or advancing their training.

Deportation of Cubans Abroad

The bill also provides for the deportation of Cuban citizens residing abroad who are considered a threat to public order or national security, a measure seen as a tool to silence critics of the regime abroad.

According to the official press, this Migration Law project complies with the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, the laws and international treaties on immigration matters, seeking regular, orderly and safe migration. However, concern about the impact of this law on the human rights and freedom of Cuban citizens remains a topic of debate.

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