10/28/13 - Chicago Tribune - Cubans traveling abroad in record numbers, officials say
By Nelson Acosta
HAVANA, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Cubans are taking advantage of
the loosening of travel restrictions this year to go abroad in
record numbers, the government said on Monday, with the tally of
travelers rising by 35 percent since a new law took effect in
The United States, Mexico and Spain were the most visited
destinations by Cubans, according to Colonel Lamberto Fraga
Hernandez, deputy director of immigration.
The new law got rid of Cuba's much-hated need to obtain an
exit visa and loosened other restrictions that had discouraged
Cubans from leaving.
Fraga said that 226,877 Cubans had traveled abroad since the
law went into effect on Jan. 14, compared to 167,684 during the
same period in 2012 and far more than traveled in previous
Cubans can now travel abroad for up to two years without
returning home to renew their passports. Fraga said 58 percent
had already returned and 24,000 had traveled more than once this
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