Just a few hours ago Yoani Sánchez and I had the ecstatic experience of being the first to file the paperwork for the new Migratory Law. To be NUMBER ONE in a line is always comforting, and especially of the place has not been bought from a professional line-holder and the line is not a mad crush because of some extraordinary event. But the most successful part of the process, which we were able to put to the test in the first minutes, was the real-time operation of the much-hyped travel and immigration reform.
Yoani Sánchez, whom the Cuban government refused the now-eliminated Exit Permit twenty times, this morning was one of the most efficient thermometers for measuring the extent of the new measures. It would be enough to read Subsection H of Article 23 of the new law to feel pessimistic; the subsection says that passports will not be granted “when for reasons of public interest, the authorized authorities decide.”
Now, they have promised us the new passport within two weeks, and everyone in the office responded with, “Yes! Of course you can travel!” leaving us only to wait to see what will happen at the window of the immigration official’s booth at the airport, when the famous blogger tries to walk through the door officially labeled “the border.”
The most significant is not that this person travels, but what it could mean, a sign that finally reality has prevailed over the absurdity, and not because of the noble will of a political authority who orders it, but because of the public reaction within the Island and the moral pressure of international public opinion has pushed in the right direction and with the necessary force.
We’ll know soon.
PS: The errors in the writing of the notice, placed in the immigration office, are not the responsibility of the author of the blog.
TRANSLATION OF THE NOTICE IN THE WINDOW
AS WE HAVE INFORMED IN THE MEDIA WE REITERATE:
In accordance with what is established in Ministry of the Interior Resolution 13, those under 18 or disabled residents in the national territory,are only required to “update” current passports that are valid and current “without any encumbrance.”
TO AVOID INCONVENIENCE AND ECONOMIC AFFECTS THAT COULD BE OCCASIONED THOSE WHO FALL INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES SHOULD DESIST FROM PRESENTING THEMSELVES AT THE BORDERS TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY:
1 – Those who have been informed by their institution that they require its authorization to travel.
2 – Those who possess fire arms that have not been deposited.
3 – Those males who from the January 1st in the year they turn 17, to December 31st in the year they turn 19, and who have been informed that they are included in the upcoming calls to Active Military Service.
4 – Other people who are described in Article 25 of Decree Law 302/2012.
14 January 2013