- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Cuban law allows for unlikely homecomings
Question of the Day
HAVANA — Sydney Gregory has never met her father, an Olympic silver medalist in fencing who defected from the Cuban team at a tournament in Portugal in 2002, when she was 15 days old.
But he recently called from Italy with good news: Papa’s coming home to visit.
“I’m very happy,” the 10-year-old girl said, smiling in her school uniform with a headband holding back her jet-black hair. “My father called me on the phone and told me he’s going to come. I’m going to meet him.”
Under Cuban law, those who abandoned their homeland have had to apply for permission to return, even for the kind of brief family visit Elvis Gregory hopes to make.
Many high-profile people who are considered deserters have had their requests to return rejected by a communist-run government that complained about the large financial investment it made in their careers.
Some didn’t even bother to ask, knowing their petitions would be turned down.
But a change taking effect in January will make it simpler for Cubans to visit the homeland they abandoned.
It essentially establishes a single set of rules governing the right of return that will apply to everyone who left illegally, no matter what the circumstances of their departure.
The new rules could affect many leading cultural and athletic figures, from musicians and doctors to ballet dancers and former Yankee pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez.
Tens of thousands of people once considered traitors now could be welcomed home.
Cuba is “normalizing the temporary entrance into the country of those who emigrated illegally following the migratory accords of 1994 if more than eight years has gone by since their departure,” Homero Acosta, secretary of the governing Council of State, said in a recent TV program examining the changes announced last month.
The migration accords with the U.S. called for 20,000 immigration visas to be issued to Cubans each year, and for the repatriation of islanders caught at sea before reaching U.S. shores.
For Cubans who abandoned the country while on missions overseas, the rule applies to those who defected after 1990.
Exiles who want to return for visits must use Cuban passports and will be able to come as often as they like. They initially will be allowed to stay up to 90 days, with possible extensions.
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- PHILLIPS: Once-in-a-century stupidity
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world