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Cuba: Nearly 183,000 travel abroad since reform

HAVANA (AP) -- Cuban authorities say nearly 183,000 islanders have traveled overseas since a migratory reform law took effect earlier this year.

A report on state television also says 1,900 Cubans who emigrated over the years have applied to reestablish legal residency in the Caribbean nation.

January's reform eliminated the costly, much-loathed exit visa that for decades was required of any islander hoping to travel abroad.

It also scrapped the practice of requiring Cubans to secure a letter of invitation from someone in the country they wished to visit, and extended to two years the length of time they can stay away without losing full residency rights.

The numbers were announced late Tuesday. There are no official figures in the public domain to compare how many traveled under the previous migratory rules.