U.S. Government suspends private charter flights to Cuba

U.S. Government suspends private charter flights to Cuba

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday that the U.S. government has suspended private charter flights to Cuba, including those to Havana.

According to a statement released today, all charters between the United States and Cuba over which the Department of Transportation exercises jurisdiction will be suspended, except for authorized public charters to and from Havana and other authorized private charters for emergency medical, search and rescue, and other flights considered in the interest of the United States.

The document does not specify from what date this measure would be effective, but it does acknowledge that the purpose of this is to continue to cut the income that the Cuban government obtains from landing fees, hotel stays and other travel-related earnings.

In October 2019, the White House banned regular flights to all Cuban airports, with the exception of Jose Marti International Airport. In addition, in January this year, the Department of Transportation limited the charter of flights to all Cuban cities except Havana.

The implementation of the flight ban in the country increases the human and financial costs of previous travel restrictions, substantially affecting families living in both nations.

With this action, communication between the United States and Cuba is limited to commercial flights by airlines licensed to operate on the island, which furthermore can only access Havana's international airport.

The announcements take place in a complex context for Cuba and the world, as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on the world economy.

Diplomatic sources point out that during this period of health and economic crisis, the current U.S. administration has imposed more than a dozen measures against the Caribbean nation.