Report: More Cubans travel overseas

  • 17/08/2015
Report: More Cubans travel overseas

The number of Cubans travelling abroad has surged by 23.7 percent, according to official statistics, an increase prompted by the Communist island's easing of travel restrictions.

Some 355,000 Cubans travelled recreationally in 2014, up from 287,000 the previous year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics published in the Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

And the number of people leaving the island for non-business travel last year was up 66.7 percent from 2012, when 213,000 people left the island.

Travel restrictions were eased in 2013, allowing Cubans to legally visit other countries, after being strictly imposed following the Cuban revolution.

That revolution led many Cubans to flee the country, often embarking on risky boat trips to seek asylum in other countries, namely the United States.

The US and Cuba in December announced a historic rapprochement, ending five decades of enmity between the former Cold War foes.

There are about 1.2 million Cuban immigrants in the United States, and Washington grants some 20,000 immigrant visas and about 30,000 temporary visas for Cubans annually.