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Cuban-Americans Born Here Can Get Cuban Citizenship. If Their Folks Aren't Agitators.

Young Cuban-Americans visiting Havana in 2016 as part of a program to strengthen ties between them and their Cuban peers.

President Trump last year made it harder for Americans to travel to and do business with Cuba. In response, Cuba is making it easier for at least Cuban-Americans to engage the communist island. 

That now includes acquiring Cuban citizenship.

The U.S. and Cuba normalized relations more than three years ago. Since then, more U.S.-born Cuban-Americans have expressed interest in dual citizenship as a way to strengthen ties to their ancestral island.

This week the government in Havana has begun making that possible. On New Year’s Eve it decreed that the foreign-born children of Cuban parents born in Cuba may now apply for Cuban citizenship.

They’ll have to take an exam requiring fluent Spanish. Knowledge of Cuban history and geography. And its civics – meaning communism and socialism. They’ll also have to prove that neither they – nor their parents – have ever committed any “acts against the Cuban state.”

The rules don’t specify what those acts might be. But given the often militant anti-communist history of the Cuban exile community, that could prove a stumbling block for a lot of applicants.

Either way, it’s uncertain how many second-generation Cubans living here will want to take advantage of the citizenship offer.