On Tuesday, the Cuban government announced that it would ease the highly restrictive travel laws it has kept in place for more than 50 years.
Beginning next year, Cubans will no longer need an exit visa to leave the island, requiring instead only a passport and a visa for their destination country. Two experts spoke with Trend Lines about the impact the reforms will have.
“The big question is how many Cubans will now rush to leave the island,” Ted Piccone, senior fellow and deputy director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, wrote Trend Lines in an email, adding that Cubans who reach the United States receive a special status. “We will likely see a steady increase in the outflow of Cubans tired of coping with the daily challenges of living in an anemic economy, which may help the regime reduce its bloated payrolls and act as a safety valve to release pent-up demands for change.”