[credit provider=”Justin Otto via flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4497987416/sizes/z/in/photostream/”]
Raul Castro’s government announced Monday that Cubans will be allowed to travel abroad, as tourists, for the first time in five decades.No further details on travel policy were released in the government’s new economic guidelines, but the announcement is seen as an official decision as part the landmark reforms, according to Al Jazeera.
There is currently a de facto travel ban in Cuba where residents of the island nation have to jump numerous bureaucratic hurdles, including an invitation from their destination abroad. Cubans must then pay $150 for an exit request that may be denied, limit their travel to 30 days, and obtain paperwork that costs about $400. The average monthly wage in Cuba is $20.
Monday’s announcement also confirmed the governments commitment to allow residents to buy and sell homes, automobiles and pledged to make bank loans readily available.
In their shift to a free market the new Castro government suggests Cubans also form co-ops that should serve as medium size companies. New rules also allow businesses to sell directly to consumers without government interference.