14ymedio, Havana, 1 June 2022 — The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is reestablishing commercial flights to Cuba, which until now could fly only to Havana. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued the order at the request of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
According to Reuters, Blinken said that the action was “in support of the Cuban people and in the interests of U.S. foreign policy.”
Until now, U.S. airlines could only fly to Havana, leaving Cuban Americans with few options to visit their relatives in other parts of the island.
The measure is part of a policy change towards the island announced in the middle of last month, which includes the resumption of the family reunification program and the suspension of the limit of $1,000 per quarter on remittances, thus reversing some of the toughest measures of former President Donald Trump. It is not known when these last two measures will go into effect.
The Government of Cuba described Washington’s decision as a “limited step in the right direction.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regretted in a statement, issued just over an hour after the U.S. announcement, that the Joe Biden Administration hasn’t eliminated the economic embargo, in force since 1962.
In 2019, the Trump Administration banned commercial flights from the U.S. to all cities in Cuba with the exception of Havana and, in August 2020, went further by suspending private charter flights to all airports on the island, including that of the capital.
These charter flights were used by many Cuban Americans to travel to the island from Miami.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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