News and Facts about Cuba

Cuba to Renew Passports of Citizens Living in the USA

Cuba to Renew Passports of Citizens Living in the USA
May 12, 2014
agencies will handle the paperwork

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban Interests Section in Washington today announced
that it will renew expired passports of Cubans residing in the United
States who plan to travel in the coming months to the island, reported
dpa news.

The good news from the island’s diplomatic mission comes despite having
yet to find a solution to the suspension of consular services because of
not having a bank that will handle its accounts.

The Cuban Interests Section issued a statement calling the measure
“temporary” that will “create conditions in our Consular Office to renew
expired passports or those coming due from those citizens residing in
the United States who are booked to travel to Cuba in the period
May 15 to August 31, 2014.”

The procedure must be done through authorized travel agents who have
“working relations” with the Consular Office at its headquarters in
Washington. Although the measure is considered temporary, until a more
permanent solution is found, the statement said the deadline “could be
extended if the alternative solution implementation takes more time than
expected.”

In February, Cuba announced the immediate and indefinite suspension of
consular services in the United States do to the “impossibility” of
finding a new bank to carry the accounts of its diplomatic mission after
the previous one suspended service.

The delegation reiterated today, as it has done in recent months, that
is has not yet managed to find a bank based in the United States to
assume the bank accounts of the Cuban diplomatic missions “because of
regulations arising from the economic, commercial and financial blockade
imposed by the United States on Cuba.”

The US government has said repeatedly that it is “actively” working with
the Cuban Interests Section to find a new bank, but until now, fruitlessly.

The decision to renew expired passports comes shortly after travel
agencies booking tickets to Cuba from the United States received a
directive from Havana in late April to prevent Cubans from boarding
planes with expired passports under threat of “penalties.”

Cuba issues passports valid for six years, but requires an extension to
be paid for every two years. Until late last month, the country’s
immigration had accepted the entry of travelers without valid passports
on the condition that they renew them in Havana due to the problems at
its consulate in Washington.

Cuba requires all persons born on the island to enter with a Cuban
passport even if they are now citizens with passports from another country.

Source: “Cuba to Renew Passports of Citizens Living in the USA – Havana
Times.org” – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=103589

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