14ymedio, Miami, June 5, 2018 – All Cubans, even those with dual citizenship, will still be required to present a Cuban passport when entering the country. The requirement will remain in effect after ratification of a constitutional amendment by the National Assembly according to the Cuban ambassador to the United States, José Ramón Cabañas.
As reported by El Nuevo Herald, Cabañas made the comments on Tuesday during an event highlighting joint environmental and historic preservation projects between the United States and Cuba.
“For us the guiding principle is that every Cuban — whether he or she holds a second or third citizenship — when that person returns to Cuba, is on the island, is within our borders, is [considered to be] Cuban,” said the ambassador.
The creation of a commission to reform and update the law had raised hopes within the exile community, which numbers more than one million Cubans. To travel to their country of birth, Cubans with dual citizenship must apply for a Cuban passport, which involves a fee of 450 dollars as well as a costly two-year extension of 180 dollars.
Although the nation’s constitution does not specifically bar Cubans from entering the country using a foreign passport, article 32 does prohibit dual nationality, which can lead to loss of Cuban citizenship. The law addresses this prohibition by requiring the possession of a Cuban passport to enter the country as evidence that a visitor has not renounced his or her citizenship.
More than 130,000 Cubans have acquired Spanish citizenship yet still reside on the island. Additionally, there is a large number of returnees who retain citizenship from the countries where they had been living, mainly the United States. Some activists have accused the state of profiting from immigration procedures while looking the other way when this constitutional article is violated.
Last Saturday the National Assembly unanimously appointed a commission to be headed by the former president and first secretary of the Communist Party, Raul Castro, which will study the constitutional changes. At this session the deputies made it clear that any changes will preserve the irrevocability of the socialist system imposed by Fidel Castro as well as article 4, which gives primacy to the Communist Party rather than the state.
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