Ghost applicants flourish around U.S. Embassy in Havana

More services have sprung up to help Cubans eagerly applying for U.S. visas around the Interest Section which was just upgraded to the United States Embassy after midnight Sunday in Havana.
Due to poor access to internet, common Cubans find extreme difficulty filling in the DS160 form on the embassy’s website, thus providing space for private businesses to help them finish the necessary step before an interview is bestowed for visa.

(Soundbite) Eduardo Díaz, Application Service Provider
“After studying the possibility and exploiting the potential, we open the business. Except for the U.S., we can provide visa application help for people departing for 20 other countries.”

As Cuba and the U.S. restored their long-severed diplomatic ties on Monday, Cubans lined up in front of the embassy in downtown Havana, expecting to get their visas soon to make their American dreams come true.

(Soundbite) Yohandry Fonseca, Application Service Provider
“The restoration of ties is good for the society, especially for my business. It is an opportunity that you can shuttle between the two countries. Travel business is also expected to boom.”

The ghost applicants have spent dearly to rent high-speed internet links, staking their economic future on the expected surge of Cubans going to the U.S.
Just 166 kilometers away, the U.S. has been a fancy destination for the Cubans tortured by 53 years of U.S. trade embargo.
According to U.S. figures, the number of Cuban immigrants doubled in the first three months of 2015, the time that both sides were tightly negotiating to resume their relations.

Leave a Comment