Now there\’s a proper Courageous State for you!

(Reuters) – Cuba will scrap broad travel restrictions starting in January, easing most Cubans\’ exit and return, state media said on Tuesday in the communist island\’s first major immigration reform in half a century.

The Cuban government imposed restrictions on travel starting in 1961 to try to stop a mass migration of people fleeing after the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.

The government will lift the much reviled requirements to obtain an exit visa and letter of invitation and allow Cubans to simply show a passport and a visa from the country they\’re traveling to if needed, Communist Party newspaper Granma said.

Imagine that. Just letting people leave if they don\’t like it!

Granma said the reforms were not total as \”those measures aimed at preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations shall remain in force.\”

Who was it who used to talk like that? Ah, yes, Tony Benn wasn\’t it. University graduates shouldn\’t be allowed to emigrate for some period of time, that was one of his.

But even Cuba isn\’t a properly Courageous State. For they\’re not proposing to tax people even after they\’ve buggered off.

17 thoughts on “Now there\’s a proper Courageous State for you!”

  1. You know, I’d’ve thought that the question of who owns a person’s labour was thoroughly settled in the 19th century.

  2. there’s a very easy way to tell how wonderful a country is; how easy they make it to leave. Stalinist Russia was almost impossible to get out of, and was – predictably enough – a hellhole.

    Generally speaking, you don’t have to compel people to stay somewhere where they actually enjoy living.

  3. john b,

    The US has it right. You want to be called a US citizen, have Green Berets flying in to rescue you? Well, pay taxes like a citizen.

    Don’t like it? Renounce your citizenship and the IRS won’t bother you.

  4. Don’t like it? Renounce your citizenship and the IRS won’t bother you.

    Unfortunately, if you happen to be the sort of American that is worth a lot of money (like Eduardo Saverin), then the US won’t let you just up sticks, renunciate and go somewhere else.

    Which rather puts paid to the lie about “The land of the free and the home of the brave”.

    Saverin’s exit tax bill was not that different from being tapped for currency by the old soviet era border guards.

  5. Quite. Also, if you renounce your citizenship you won’t find yourself treated like, say, the UK treats Julia Gillard, as a citizen of wherever you’ve gone with the same rights as any other citizen thereof – you’ll most likely be refused entry of any kind, and will certainly need to jump insane hoops to get a visa.

  6. “Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead” shows that even those who renounce their citizenship get the Green Beret treatment also.

  7. Before we get excited about Cubans being allowed to leave we should consider:
    a) that most of them don’t have the financial wherewithal to do so, as the state takes the majority of the fruits of their labour for its own purposes
    b) other countries won’t let Cubans in (e.g. UK)

  8. #9 David C

    Cubans are automatically admitted as political refugees when they reach US soil. I am not sure why any of them would want to move to the UK, when they can effortlessly settle among friends and relatives in Miami.

  9. #7 John B

    That is incorrect. After renunciation, an ex-citizen is treated like any citizen of his new country. A small group of senators led by the invariably annoying Charles Schumer tried to get some political mileage out of the Savarin situation, but it all deflated as quickly as Facebook’s share price.

  10. So Much For Subtlety

    David C – “Before we get excited about Cubans being allowed to leave we should consider:
    a) that most of them don’t have the financial wherewithal to do so, as the state takes the majority of the fruits of their labour for its own purposes”

    I am happy to contribute. I am sure someone will set up a website and I will be delighted to donate. What does a one-way ticket to Miami or Madrid cost these days?

  11. Ted:

    1) the Reed Amendment is on the law books and says otherwise. I didn’t realise it had never been enforced and had little chance of ever being, so you’re correct in practice and I retract.

    2) Wet-foot-dry-foot doesn’t really have the same impact it might here. In order to visit the US by plane, Cubans already need a valid US visa, which involves the same creaking and expensive bureaucracy as any developed-world would-be US visitors. This will continue to be the case. The only major difference will (presumably) be that if you leave in a boat, the Cuban coastguard will no longer try and stop you.

  12. It was always embarassing for the Left that their described socialist paradise had to build a wall around it garrisoned with machine-gun toting goons in order to keep the happy workers from fleeing in their millions.

  13. Rob

    It never embarrassed the Left. They cannot be embarrassed. Witness the people who thought that Hungary 56 and Prague 68 and all those campaigns in China, Cambodia and Vietnam were great for the proletariat.

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