Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Cubans complain about US visa restrictions

Cubans have had widespread access to social media for just a few months, and they're embracing it to bombard U.S. diplomats in Havana with complaints about new visa restrictions.

More than 400 Cubans have sent comments to the Facebook page of Washington's Havana Embassy complaining mostly about the elimination of five-year tourist visas announced Friday. Cubans now will need a new visa for each trip.

That's devastating for Cuban private entrepreneurs or people trying to visit relatives.

A Facebook user identified as Williams Hernandez pleaded: "Ease our hearts from this sadness we experience living far from our loved ones."

Most visa requests are rejected. And Cubans must make a costly trip to a third country like Mexico or Panama even to apply.

Cuba opened internet access to smartphones last year.

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