We at Roots of Hope recognize the potential that the recently announced travel reform could have on the people of Cuba. Reclaiming the ability to travel freely is one of the many changes that our counterparts on the island have advocated for, and these reforms represent a small step in the right directions. Cubans have unjustly been denied the right to travel for too long, as generations have gone and gone without a freedom that many of us take for granted. This new policy could open the world to many young Cubans, and expose them to new possibilities, perspectives, and contexts.
Roots of Hope welcomes these actions, but remains cautious about their full impact because they do not guarantee freedom of travel for all Cubans. The new migratory policy continues discriminating against many professionals and those Cubans who bravely express independent opinions. The true scope and reach of these changes will be seen come January 2013. We call on the government of Cuba to ensure that the issuance of passports will not be governed by political opinion, economic discrimination, or public reception, but instead is open to all Cubans.
We hope that this moment is one small step in ensuring that youth in Cuba have the opportunities to become authors of their own futures. We realize that this goal has not yet been achieved, but remain optimistic that the voices of Cubans on the island will continue to be heard throughout the world.
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