After 50 years, Cubans hope to travel freely - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

After 50 years, Cubans hope to travel freely


HAVANA (AP) -- Cuba appears close to a momentous decision to end a half-century of travel restrictions that have made it difficult to leave the Communist-run island, with one senior official saying a "radical and profound" change is weeks away.

That comment, by Parliament Chief Ricardo Alarcon, has residents, exiles and policymakers abuzz with speculation that the much hated exit visa that Cubans must obtain to leave their own country could be a thing of the past, even if Raul Castro's government still carefully limits the travel of doctors, scientists, and military personnel.

Other top Cuban officials have cautioned against over-excitement, most recently at a weekend teleconference designed to bridge the gap with Cuban emigrants, leaving islanders and Cuba experts to wonder how far Havana's aging leaders are willing to go.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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