Parole and "Ley de Nietos" Overwhelm Notarial Services in Sancti Spíritus

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Alex Smith

Parole and "Ley de Nietos" Overwhelm Notarial Services in Sancti Spíritus
Dirección Provincial de Justicia de Sancti Spíritus / Facebook - Imagen de © Notarios de Sancti Spíritus

The ongoing migration wave in Cuba, which has seen at least half a million people leave for the United States in the past two years, has overwhelmed the notarial services in Sancti Spíritus. The surge in demand, driven primarily by applications related to the Parole Program (a special visa for urgent humanitarian reasons) and Spanish citizenship via the Ley de Nietos, has led to an unprecedented spike in document requests, according to state-controlled media.

The most common documents requested by citizens include special powers of attorney, permissions for minors to travel or reside abroad, inheritance procedures, wills, and property sales. Additionally, notaries are involved in the establishment of small and medium-sized enterprises (mipymes), work with documentation from the ONAT (National Office of Tax Administration), and assist lawyers from collective law firms with various procedures.

The demand from the public is three times greater than the capacity of the notarial services in the province, which has maintained the same staff—often incomplete—as five years ago. Official reports reveal that despite the workload reaching 3 million transactions in 2023 and 7,200 already in 2024, there are still a dozen vacant positions. These figures are three times the norm for these offices, further exacerbating the local situation, as noted by the local newspaper Escambray, which clarifies that this issue extends nationwide.

Efforts in Sancti Spíritus to replace physical lines with a scheduling system through the Ticket app have not yielded the expected results, leading to further slowdowns and prolonged processing times. Compounding these challenges are frequent power outages, shortages of materials, outdated computer equipment, connectivity issues, and even a lack of paper for printing required documents.

Moreover, Escambray highlights concerns regarding the professionalism of some notaries, who occasionally compromise on quality by not properly guiding or advising clients, working arbitrarily and slowly, disrespecting the order of queues, and prioritizing acquaintances.

A local internet user, Martha León, expressed her frustration on a comment left on the news shared on Facebook by the state newspaper: "The Civil Registry has now turned into a bidding war. If you pay, you get everything right away. It's all just disrespectful. By God, Cuba has become the law of the jungle of the strongest."

To access one of the 17 notaries in Sancti Spíritus, individuals need to use the Ticket platform or show up in person. For less complex procedures, transactions can be processed immediately. Payments are made via QR code, and the elderly, pregnant women, and other vulnerable groups are given priority access to the offices.

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