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DOS Spokesman Addresses Cuban Permission to Visit

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03100142 (posted Oct. 1, 2003)"

Taken Questions
Richard Boucher
Washington, DC

Questions Taken at September 30, 2003 Daily Press Briefing

CUBA: Statement by Foreign Minister That Cubans Living In the United States Do Not Need Visas To Enter Cuba

Question: What does the United States think about a statement by Cuba s Foreign Minister, who said that Cubans living outside of the United States no longer need to have Cuban government permission in order to visit the island.

Answer: We fully support the right of Cubans to travel freely to and from Cuba.  Unfortunately, the Castro regime continues to deny Cubans this basic right. We call on Cuba to respect the principles enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to allow freedom of movement and residence within its borders and to allow its citizens to leave and return to their country.

Based on the press reports we have seen concerning the Cuban Foreign Minister's statement, there are no practical changes in the Castro regime s restrictions on the rights of Cubans in America to travel to their homeland. All those born in Cuba and now living in the United States, who arrived after December 31, 1970, will be required to obtain Cuban passports in order to enter Cuba. These individuals will be treated solely as Cuban citizens and will be subject to a range of restrictions and obligations. Cuba does not recognize the right of the U.S. government to protect Cuban-born American citizens traveling to Cuba and consistently refuses to allow U.S. consular access to those arrested or detained in Cuba.

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