"This is an immigration law that gives the government the right to decide and determine who comes and goes into the country. Therefore, I wasn't surprised. What's more, this negation on behalf of the regime serves to show that they violate the accords reached in 2009 between the Catholic Church and the government of Spain and the regime itself."
6. Pull out from official Gazette containing immigration law
FILE: December 2012
7. Wide of march by Ladies in White protest group, including Berta Soler, wife of Moya, at front on right of screen holding flowers
8. Mid of Ladies in White lined up and chanting: (Spanish) "Laura Pollan lives!" (Pollan is the late founder of the group), Soler is second from left in line
Two Cuban dissidents who applied for passports to go overseas under recently enacted travel reforms reported mixed results this week, as one former prisoner was turned down while a prominent blogger excitedly tweeted a photo of her brand new, bright blue travel document.
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez posted a photo on Wednesday of her passport on her Twitter page.
By her own account Sanchez has on some 20 occasions been rejected for the much-detested exit visa that for decades was required of all islanders seeking to go abroad.
Analysts have called such controls arbitrary and humiliating, though authorities long insisted they were necessary to prevent brain drain.
That requirement ended 14 January when a new law took effect scrapping the permit known as the "white card," which Cuba routinely denied to those it considers "counter-revolutionaries" in the pay of foreign interests and bent on undermining the communist government.
But the case of Angel Moya, who was locked up for years in connection with his political activities, indicates that Cuba intends to exercise a legal clause by which it retains the right to restrict some citizens' right to travel.
Moya, one of 75 other anti-government activists imprisoned in a 2003 crackdown on dissent, said he went to file paperwork and the 50 US dollars' application fee to request a passport, but a clerk turned him down.
"This is an immigration law that gives the government the right to decide and determine who comes and goes into the country. Therefore, I wasn't surprised," he said on Thursday.
"What's more, this negation on behalf of the regime serves to show that they violate the accords reached in 2009 between the Catholic Church and the government of Spain and the regime itself," he added.
Moya said an office clerk at the passport office showed him her computer screen and the file did not contain a specific reason why he was not allowed to apply for the travel document.
But the travel law contains language reserving the right to withhold passports for reasons of national interest and for people with pending legal cases, and he's sure that's affecting his situation.
Moya's release from prison was conditional and technically he's still serving a 20-year sentence for treason that expires in 2023.
The rest of the former prisoners from the 2003 crackdown, like a number of other dissidents with legal issues, presumably could be in the same boat.
Moya's wife Berta Soler, a leader of the Ladies in White protest group, said as far as she knows she's still scheduled to pick up her passport on 8 February.
Government officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Havana usually avoids mentioning the dissidents at all except to accuse them of being traitorous "mercenaries."