Cubans prepare for lifting of travel restriction that forced them to get exit visas

10 January 2013
1. Wide of Immigration Office exterior in Havana
2. Mid of people reading information board outside Immigration Office
3. Various of people waiting in line for passports and to fill out forms
4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jose Luis Guerra, Havana resident, passport applicant:
“Now we can travel anywhere in the world, but what remains to be seen is if the rest of the world wants us to travel there. That’s where the problem is.”
5. Pull out of woman filling out passport form
8 January 2013
6. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Noelis Rodriguez, Healthcare Worker and passport applicant:
“If it hadn’t been necessary I wouldn’t have quit. I would have just come and gone. But otherwise I would have had to wait for public health officials to give me permission to leave.”
7. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Pedro Salazar, Industrial Engineer and passport applicant: ++INCLUDED IN SAME SHOT AS SHOT6++
“It’s a lack of trust on the part of the government. I am a professional; what’s the difference if I live here or abroad? I could come and go.”
8. Wide of people in line to have their forms filled out across the street from immigration office
9. Close up of sign, reads: (Spanish) “Forms Filled Out. Apartment 1”
10. Mid man typing form for customer
UPSOUND (Spanish) Typist: “Country you are visiting?”
Customer: “I don’t know.”
Typist: “Can’t you specify the country?”
Customer: “Go ahead and put the US.”
Typist: “Have you travelled before?”
Customer: “No.”
11. Wide typist with customers
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Pedro Salazar, Industrial Engineer and passport applicant:
“It’s difficult to imagine. Especially since we have lived for so many years in a slow process. So, to speak of a future change, it’s hard to imagine.”
9 January 2013
13. Wide of Oscar Elias Biscet, Cuban dissident at home, in meeting with other dissidents
14. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Oscar Elias Biscet, Cuban Dissident:
“The reality is that the Cuban government has not given freedom to the Cuban people. A half freedom is not freedom. Not all Cubans have a right to travel; in that group are professionals and dissidents. I think freedom should be total or it’s not freedom at all.”
15. Tilt up from baggage to passengers waiting to leave at airport
16. Wide of exterior airport with sign that reads in (Spanish/English) “Departures”
17. Mid of people outside airport with departure screen in background
18. Close up of departure screen
10 January 2013
19. Wide of US Interests Section exterior in Havana
20. Mid of visa applicants inside US Interests Section
21. Wide of US Interests Section building
Many Cubans are eagerly awaiting a new law taking effect on Monday that will let the vast majority of islanders travel abroad without having to ask for permission or pay for costly exit visas.
The overhaul of Cuba’s decades-old migratory law, announced three months ago, eliminates the much-detested exit visa known as the “white card” and is perhaps the most highly anticipated of a series of reforms initiated under President Raul Castro.
Observers predict it will result in only a modest initial increase in trips by Cubans, who must still get entry visas to travel to most countries, including the United States.
“Now we can travel anywhere in the world,” said Jose Luis Guerra outside Havana’s Immigration office.
“But what remains to be seen is if the rest of the world wants us to travel there. That’s where the problem is.”
The measure greatly simplifies travel by scrapping the exit visa, and doing away with the requirement that Cubans provide a letter of invitation from someone in their country of destination.
Now, islanders need only make a one-time 100 US dollar application for a passport, renewable for 20 US dollars every two years.

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Malayalis Around The World Prepare For Onam Festival

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There is a lot of insane festivals but here is the Top 10 Most Insane Festivals Around The World

About the Insane Festivals :

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10. Moose Dropping Festival –
In celebration of the state’s official animal, the small Alaskan town of Talkeetna holds an annual festival in which the highlight involves dropping loads of moose poop onto targets from hot air balloons. We kid you not.

9. Up Helly AA –
Occuring once a year in the Shetland Islands, Up Helly AA is a fairly intense ordeal that involves lots of fire, viking helmets, and lifesize replicas of longships being burnt to the ground…or the ocean for that matter.

8. Frozen Dead Guy Days –
Ever since Bredo Morstol’s body was brought to the United States by his grandson in the late 80′s his body has been cryogenically frozen in a shed located in the small town of Nederland, Colorado. Although initially the townspeople were opposed to the idea of keeping frozen dead people in their backyards, they’ve chilled out quite a bit . Today they even hold an annual festival that includes coffin races, a slow motion parade, and a Frozen Dead Guy lookalike contest.

7. Goose Pulling Festival –
Each year on Shrove Tuesday in various towns throughout Germany and the Netherlands villagers take part in a very old and very controversial activity. Basically a goose is hung from either a wire or a pole afterwhich participants take turns trying to pull its head off. Of course, the head can only take so much and before long somebody is successful. Don’t get too worked up though, the animal rights activists already beat you to it. These days only dead geese are allowed to be used in the festivities.

6. The Redneck Games –
In 1996 when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, some locals took offense to the fact that the international media portrayed them as a “bunch of rednecks holding a sporting event.” As a result they ended up doing just that. Some of the events include toilet seat throwing, hubcap hurling, and the armpit serenade.

5. Burning Tar Barrel Festival –
Although no is quite sure why anymore, for hundreds of years people in the town of Devon, England have been running through the streets carrying burning battles of tar. As soon as the sun goes down on the 5th of November barrels are lit and placed upon the back of a carrier. When he can bear it no more he’ll hand off the load to the next willing soul and so and so forth.

4. Bolas de Fuego –
Staying on the topic of fire, this festival takes us halfway around the world to San Salvador. Around the turn of the 20th century a volcano almost completely destroyed the small town of Nejapa. Every year since then residents have gathered together in the town square for very a appropriately themed celebration consisting of throwing flaming rags at one another. Makes the fire ants and tomatos look a little more appealing doesn’t it?

3. Konaki Sumo –
Once again we find ourselves in Japan, and once again the Japanese have managed to outdo themselves. This time the festival involves two things – sumo wrestlers and lots and lots of babies. Every April the wrestlers face off while holding the babies to see who’s will cry first. May the man with the most baby friendly hands win.

2. Goat Tossing Festival –
There are few things in the world stranger than what happens in the small Spanish town of Manganeses de la Polvorosa every fourth Sunday of January. Essentially it consists of a young boy finding a goat, tying it up, and then throwing it from the top of the church belfry after which is supposedly caught by villagers on the ground.

1. El Colacho –
Also known as the baby jumping festival, this cringe worthy celebration occurs every year on the feast of Corpus Christi in the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia. Any baby that was born in the previous 12 months is placed on a mattress in the street while all the adult men of the village take turns jumping over them. Although there are usually at least several injuries, word has it that they typically only involve the jumpers.

© Photos Credit

Moose Dropping Festival – Barack Obama ♦
Up Helly AA – Mirror ♦
Frozen Dead Guy Days ♦
Goose Pulling Festival – Parhlo ♦
The Redneck Games – DanCalister ♦
Burning Tar Barrel Festival – CrossFIT ♦
Event Carnival ♦
Bolas de Fuego – Mario Pleitez ♦
Konaki Sumo – Photopic ♦
Goat Tossing Festival –
El Colacho – Fest300 ♦

© Subscribe Photos Credit
Aiming Pistol – Program Executive Office Soldier ♦
Street Race Cars – Imgneed ♦

♫ Music –

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