Editor Of Cuba's Official Newspaper, Granma, Leaves The Island For Miami

A high-ranking editor with the Communist Party newspaper Granma has left Cuba to live in Miami.

Aida Calviac Mora told America TeVe Thursday that she arrived in the U.S. through Mexico and plans to stay.

The former international news page editor criticized the state media monopoly and said there is a "crisis of credibility" in the relationship between the public and the Cuban news media.

She said whenever she approached the paper's directors with new ideas and different perspectives for news coverage she was told "it's not a good time" or "the enemy could use it against us."

Show host Juan Manuel Cao called her one of the most important Granma journalists to leave in recent years.

The 29-year-old journalist joins her husband in Miami, a former Radio Rebelde reporter.

Granma is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.
Its name comes from the yacht Granma that carried Fidel Castro and 81 other rebels to Cuba's shores in 1956 launching the Cuban Revolution.

The news of Calviac's departure came a year after a travel reform went into effect that scrapped an exit visa requirement that for five decades had made it difficult for most islanders to go abroad.

The much-hated measure was long justified as necessary to prevent brain drain as scientists, doctors, athletes and other skilled citizens were lured away from the Communist-run nation by the promise of capitalist riches.

A year into the new law, Cubans are traveling in record numbers. Some have not returned, but there's no sign of the mass exodus that some feared.

Through the end of November, 185,000 Cubans traveled abroad on 258,000 separate trips, a migration official said last month. That represents a 35 percent increase on the previous year.

About 66,000 Cubans traveled to the U.S. during the period, a figure that apparently includes everyone from tourists to islanders with immigrant visas, from researchers on academic exchanges to dual Spanish-Cuban citizens who can enter the U.S. without a visa.

Only about 40 percent, or 26,000, have returned to the island so far. That means about 40,000 Cubans are still abroad — comparable to the total number of Cuban immigrants to the United States in 2012.

Cubans who remain in the U.S. for at least a year qualify for residency there, meaning for the first time some are able to live binational lives, shuttling back and forth and enjoying the best of both countries.

There are still barriers to travel, such as affording the cost of airfare and the difficulty of obtaining visas from countries that view Cubans as possible immigrants.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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