To Leave and Return is a Right / Reinaldo Escobar

Although the fever to comment on the new travel and immigration legislation has already passed, I don’t want to let it pass me by. To those who ask me in circumstances where there’s little time to respond, I tell them the following:

The Cuban government has eliminated the humiliating Permission to Leave and established in its place the Permission to Possess a Passport, which is somehow worse because it denies the citizen the right to possess identification before the rest of the world.

If we have a little more time, then I say that I would have wished the first article of the new law would say more or less the following:

All Cuban citizens, by the mere fact of having been born in this archipelago, have the right to possess a passport and, once granted a visa by another country, to leave Cuba with it for as long as he deems appropriate and to return, as many times as his resources allow. This right can only be violated by court judgement, where the citizen has all procedural guarantees of defense and appeal.

The absence of the word “right” is the most important omission in the new law.

22 October 2012