Cuba to lift broad travel restrictions, easing exit, return

HAVANA - Cuba will scrap broad travelrestrictions starting in January, easing most Cubans' exit andreturn, state media said on Tuesday in the communist island'sfirst major immigration reform in half a century.

The Cuban government imposed restrictions on travel startingin 1961 to try to stop a mass migration of people fleeing afterthe 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.

The government will lift the much reviled requirements toobtain an exit visa and letter of invitation and allow Cubans tosimply show a passport and a visa from the country they'retraveling to if needed, Communist Party newspaper Granma said.

The changes are part of work "to update the currentmigratory policy adjusting it to prevailing conditions in thepresent and foreseeable future," the paper said.