Obama Admin Hit Record Rejection Rate for Cuban Visa Requests in 2016

A woman shows her passport and that of her son to reporters as she leaves an immigration office in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012. The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it will no longer require islanders to apply for an exit visa, eliminating a much-loathed bureaucratic procedure that has been a major impediment for many seeking to travel overseas for more than a half-century. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The U.S. State Department rejected four of every five requests from Cuban nationals for a tourism or business visa in the 2016 fiscal year, a year in which incidents of violent communist oppression skyrocketed following President Barack Obama’s friendly visit to dictator Raúl Castro in March.

“Cuba has the distinction of having the highest rate of U.S. B Visa (tourism or business) refusals of any country worldwide” in the past year, according to Forbes, citing U.S. State Department statistics. Cuba beat out war-torn and impoverished countries including Liberia, Afghanistan, and Haiti, which also appeared in the top ten.

The State Department rejected 81.9 percent of Cuban national requests for B-type visas. MarketWatch notes that this is a 5-point increase from fiscal year 2015 when the United States rejected 76 percent of such requests. Martí Noticias notes that this affected over 8,000 Cubans attempting to come into the United States on a temporary basis but that, among those granted visas – A-type “government” ones – were 392 Cuban government diplomats or other employees. Another 818 athletes received P-type visas.

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Source: News Now/ AP/ Ramon Espinosa

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About Cholo Brooks 15844 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.