MIAMI - A look into the future: Summer vacations by Cuban families in Miami, Cuban doctors and athletes who left their posts or teams while on official trips abroad returning to Cuba for visits and everyday Cubans permitted to leave the island for as long as two years at a time.
They are all possible, starting Monday, when the country's broad new migration and travel policy takes effect.
Cuba, which has long been criticized for keeping families apart and punishing those who try to leave the island illegally, has removed nearly all restrictions on travel by its citizens, a move that could cause ripples well beyond this island of 11 million people.
Gone is the reviled tarjeta blanca, the white card or exit visa that Cuba used to control who could leave.
Gone is the notarized letter of invitation from a foreign host.
Now Cubans need only a valid passport to travel -- as long as they can get a visa from the country they intend to visit and a ticket for travel.
Cuban authorities say they have set up 195 locations around the country where citizens may apply for their passports. Those who already hold them will be required to recertify them under the reform.
Presumably, many Cubans will seek visas to travel to the United States -- and even minor children will now be allowed to travel as long as they have the authorization of parents or legal guardians.