Cuba to ease travel restrictions

The Cuban government plans to ease restrictions on travel abroad, eliminating for most Cubans the requirement that they obtain "exit permits" and an "invitations from abroad," the Spanish daily El Pais reported Friday.

The newspaper's correspondent in Havana quoted "sources close to the government" as saying that the announcement is planned for the next several days or weeks.

Exit permits would still be required for physicians, recently graduated university students who have not performed their required "social service," military personnel, and members of the Interior Ministry "with access to information that affects state security," El Pais reported.

Cubans would be allowed to stay abroad for perhaps up to two years without problems, the newspaper added. Currently, Cubans can stay abroad for 11 months but lose their right to return home after that period. Also, minors will be allowed to travel abroad with their parents.