Private charter flights from the US to Cuba suspended
It has been reported by media outlets that, to increase economic pressure on Cuba, all private charter flights between the United States and the island have been suspended by the US Administration. Tourism in Cuba has already suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Conservative Cuban-American groups in Florida, a key state which Donald Trump hopes to win in the November presidential election, welcomes hardline policies towards Cuba and its regional ally, Venezuela. Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, tweeted "the Castro regime uses tourism and travel funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela".
Regular scheduled flights to all cities in communist-run Cuba except Havana were banned by the US last October and this suspension of charter flights will come into force on the 13th of October.
BBC Correspondent in Havana, Will Grant, says charter flights from the US have long filled the gap left by commercial airlines, many of which did not run services to Cuba until the Obama Administration briefly thawed diplomatic ties with the island in 2014. For the first time in more than 50 years, US commercial flights to Cuba resumed in August 2016. However, the concession was terminated by the Trump Administration and, in May, the US Transportation Department imposed a limit of 3,600 charter flights to Cuba per year.
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