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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cuba Lifts Exit Visa Requirement on Foreign Travel for Residents

Cuba’s government said it will no longer require residents to apply for exit visas to travel abroad, easing restrictions that have prevented citizens from leaving the communist island for years.

Starting Jan. 14, Cubans will no longer need to obtain invitations from a resident of a foreign country in order to travel and can stay abroad for up to 24 months, according to a statement published today in state-run Granma newspaper. Currently, Cubans can lose residency and other rights including free health care after staying 11 months abroad.

The baseball implications of this change should be interesting to follow.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cuba, cuban baseball, general, international

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   1. Gamingboy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4272566)
I'm no expert here on rules, but I think this could, in theory at least, make the amount of Cubans entering Pro Ball increase. Not as much as one would think- as the embargo will continue to nix any official agreement between MLB and the Cuban government- but because it could, in theory, make it easier for a player to defect.

"Ah, yes, I'm going to spend a month in Mexico, see you later!"
(a month passes, then two...)
"Why isn't he back yet?"


Of course, this presumes a LOT of things. For one thing, the really good players- the ones on the National Team- would presumably have restrictions placed upon them in some form (government handlers, for example). And, of course, if they defect, then they can't go back. This cannot be forgotten: most people believe that Yulieski Gourriel will never defect because it would mean leaving his beloved father, who is a coach in Cuba.
   2. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4272570)
I hope that this nonsense with Cuba with be over somewhere in my lifetime.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4272579)
If Cuban players are allowed to leave temporarily, is there any reason they can't sign with the Blue Jays?
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4272586)
If nothing else, it'll make it easier for the families of players who have already defected to reunite with them.
   5. puck Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4272588)
Sounds like there will still be some restrictions, so presumably this could affect baseball players:

In a bid to prevent an exodus of the nation’s best and brightest, certain professionals won’t benefit from the change in rules.

The government plans to restrict some travel “to defend itself from the interventionist and subversive plans of the U.S. government and its allies,” according to today’s statement. “Measures will remain to preserve the human capital created by the revolution.”
   6. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4272589)
If nothing else, it'll make it easier for the families of players who have already defected to reunite with them.
Yeah, that's exactly what I was going to say, Vlad. It may actually make a guy like Gourriel more likely to defect, as once he lands his multimillion dollar contract, he won't have any problem bankrolling his family's exit from Cuba.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4272598)
If nothing else, it'll make it easier for the families of players who have already defected to reunite with them.


That's great news for Rey Ordonez! Oh, wait...
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4272603)
Measures will remain to preserve the human capital created by the revolution

The human capital destroyed by the revolution? Knock yourself out!
   9. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4272612)
Baseball aside, this is a huge step forward for the Cuban people. So, yay!
Before I went to Cuba, I don't think I fully appreciated how valuable the right to travel abroad really is. Without it, especially in country where the media is state controlled, you lose the ability to pop outside the bubble and see your own country from a new perspective.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4272634)
[9] that is a huge point, unless the "human capital" restriction ends up applying to everyone who can afford to travel abroad. :(

Gosh, ya gotta love commie-speak.
   11. Gamingboy Posted: October 16, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4272638)
If nothing else, it'll make it easier for the families of players who have already defected to reunite with them.


Assuming that the Cuban government doesn't act like a dick as a way of sticking it to defectors and thus discourage defection.

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