Recently, the United States administration has suspended all the private charter flights to Cuba. As per reports, the decision has been taken to increase the economic pressure on Havana.
To announce this decision, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of States tweeted- “the Castro regime uses tourism and travel funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela”. Source: BBC.
Last year in October, the US administration banned regular flights to all cities of Cuba, excluding Havana.
Most of the travelers to Cuba have been infected by the novel coronavirus already. The Conservative Cuban-American groups in Florida welcomed the hardline protocol for Cuba and its regional ally Venezuela. This is one of the major battleground states that Donald Trump has been trying to win over in the upcoming US elections.
The suspension order will come into force on 13th October. It is the birthdate of late Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Leader.
Considering the seriousness of the pandemic, the United States administration will still be permitting authorized US charter flights to Cuba and its cities to provide enough medical emergency requirements.
Digging more into the details, Will Grant, from the BBC’s Havana team, said that the private charter flights from the US had worked well to fill the long gap left behind by the commercial airlines. Until the Obama Administration, the flights did not proceed with any operations to Cuba. This showed thawed diplomatic connections with the island in 2014.
After a long gap of 50 years, the US commercial flights to Cuba became fully operational from August 2016 for the first time. The thaw was initiated by the Trump administration.
In May, the Transportation Department of the United States imposed a cap on private charter flights between the US to Cuba at 3,600 annually.
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