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US Bars All Flights Into Cuba, With One Exception

Planes from United States can only go into Havana in new travel ban
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2019 9:00 AM CDT
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Delpixart)

(Newser) – If you'd planned to travel to Cuba, you still can—but only one of the country's 10 main airports will be open starting next month. Per CBS News, at the direction of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the US has banned all flights to the island nation, save for those going into Jose Marti International Airport. Havana's airport is being left open for "commercial flights for family visitation or other lawful purposes," per a letter Pompeo penned. "This action will prevent the Castro regime from profiting from US air travel and using the revenues to repress the #Cuban people," Pompeo tweeted. The move is also linked to a third country, meant to "further the Administration's policy of strengthening the economic consequences to the Cuban regime for its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela," Pompeo continues in his letter.

Per Fox News, Trump himself tied Cuba and Venezuela together last month during a speech at the United Nations, noting, "The dictator Maduro is a Cuban puppet ... hiding from his own people, while Cubans plunder Venezuela's oil wealth to sustain its own corrupt communist rule." NBC News notes it's still legal to visit Cuba, but this new mandate, which goes into effect Dec. 10, piles on to other recent limitations meant to curb tourism there, including a June shutdown of group educational and cultural trips, and last year's move that added more than two dozen tourist attractions to a growing list of places Americans aren't allowed to visit, including hotels, stores, and marinas. JetBlue and American, the two US airlines that service cities other than Havana, say they'll do what they can to comply. (Read more Cuba stories.)

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