On March 22, 2016, U.S. cruise company “Carnival” signed contracts with Cuban enterprises to begin operations between the U.S. and Cuba beginning in May this year.
Previously, on February 16, an agreement to establish regular flights between Cuba and the United States was signed.
As reported in an article published by Granma on October 16, 2012, regarding the updating of migration policy and the need to adjust to the conditions of the present and the foreseeable future, in addition to the measures that came into effect on January 14, 2013, it was noted that other measures would gradually be adopted in this area.
As a continuation of this process regarding migration policy, the Government of the Republic of Cuba has decided to adopt the following provisions:
1. To authorize the entry and exit of Cuban citizens, regardless of their immigration status, as passengers and crew on merchant ships. To enlist as crew on merchant ships, Cuban citizens resident in the country must do so through established employment institutions.
2. To authorize the entry and exit of Cuban citizens, regardless of their immigration status, as passengers and crew on cruise ships. To enlist as crew on cruise ships, Cuban citizens resident in the country must do so through established employment institutions.
The two measures above will enter into effect on April 26, 2016.
3. To authorize gradually, and once the necessary conditions are created, the entry and exit of Cuban citizens, regardless of their immigration status, as passengers and crew on pleasure boats (yachts). The implementation of this measure will be announced at the appropriate time.
It is reiterated that Cuban citizens residing in the country will require the necessary visa for the country or countries they intend to visit.
In the current context of relations with the United States, exchanges between authorities of the two countries have been held, to address issues related to the implementation and enforcement of the law, terrorism, maritime navigation security, and human trafficking, as well as travel and trade, among other issues relating to the national security of Cuba and the U.S., with the aim of promoting mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.
It will be important to advance in the agreement and implementation of bilateral cooperation mechanisms in these areas to prevent and respond to terrorist actions against Cuba, which gave rise to the regulation stipulating that Cuban citizens residing abroad could only enter our country by air, in order to prevent the use of vessels to carry out such acts, of which Cuba has been the victim on numerous occasions since the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.
The continued ban on U.S. citizens freely traveling to Cuba contrasts with these measures adopted by Cuba.
Havana, April 22, 2016