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Cubans await news on easier travel rules

Cubans await news on easier travel rules
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There is high hope among Cubans that President Raul Castro will lift strict travel restrictions that have been in force for half a century.

He has already promised to ease the rules, but has not said how far he will go. An announcement is expected at today’s National Assembly session.

Havana pensioner Ricardo Cuesta, 81, said: “It’s been 50 years already. Now they’re changing the law which is good for everyone. I have family outside the country and it would be good to go to see them. I’m all for it.”

Student Jose Ricardo, 16, added: “It would be great for Cuban society and its development because everyone has the right to travel and see other countries for whatever reason – to see their families or for work. This would help Cuban society a lot.”

Fellow student Amanda Cabanas, 18, said: “It’s great. I really want to travel and see other countries and my family in the United States.”

Cubans are hoping they will no longer need government permission to leave the communist island and to return, and that time limits on their visits will be lifted.

Castro has said many of the rules “played their role” but had “lasted unnecessarily.”