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Montevideo, August 13th 2022 - 12:35 UTC

 

 

Trump sharply reduces flights to Cuba “to impede the regime gaining access to hard currency”

Saturday, January 11th 2020 - 09:50 UTC
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The Trump administration which enjoys support from hard line Cuban-Americans in the critical electoral state of Florida, has sharply criticized Havana's rights record The Trump administration which enjoys support from hard line Cuban-Americans in the critical electoral state of Florida, has sharply criticized Havana's rights record

The United States on Friday sharply reduced flights allowed to go to Cuba in a bid to reduce revenue to the communist island. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that charter flights would only be allowed to fly to Havana, not other airports - a step already taken with commercial flights.

The restrictions “will further restrict the Cuban regime's ability to obtain revenue, which it uses to finance its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its unconscionable support for dictator Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“In suspending public charter flights to these nine Cuban airports, the United States further impedes the Cuban regime from gaining access to hard currency from US travelers,” he said.

Pompeo also said, without providing a number, that he would soon cap the number of flights to Havana.

Charter flights - which bring tourists but primarily carry Cuban-Americans - will have 60 days to wind down operations without violating US law.

President Donald Trump has drastically reversed the course on Cuba set by his predecessor Barack Obama, who had launched a rapprochement with the island.

The Trump administration, which enjoys support from hard line Cuban-Americans in the critical electoral state of Florida, has sharply criticized Havana's rights record. It has also hit out at its support for Maduro, whom Washington no longer recognizes as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

Cuba rejects the US criticism and said that the new clampdown on flights violated the rights of travelers.

“I strongly reject new US government ban on charter flights to Cuba, except for Havana, and restrictions on their number,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez wrote on Twitter in English.

“This is serious violation of human rights and freedom of travel of US citizens and hinders family reunification,” he said.

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