After weeks in which passport applications surged and just days before the new policy takes affect, Cuba this week “began to increase the information about the update announced last October,” according to a story from the state-run Prensa Latina News Agency.
Specifically, the Labor and Social Security Ministry defined categories of Cubans whose travel would be restricted. They include those who may be “criminally prosecuted, are subject to military service or (are denied) for reasons of defense and national security.”
“Also on the list are citizens who have obligations with the state or are not authorized under rules designed to preserve the skilled workforce and protect official information,” read the Prensa Latina story.
It’s not clear, exactly, how sweeping these restrictions will be or why they were announced this week. Col. Lambert Fraga, deputy chief of Cuba’s immigration department, explained the government would exercise its prerogative “to protect the scientific, professional and technical fields, as well as key athletes who help the socio-economic development of the country.”
Such restrictions are necessary, Fraga told Prensa Latina, “to defend the supreme interests of society.”