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Commercial Flights To Begin Soon From US To Cuba

December 17, 2015 - For over 50 years, the United States and Cuba has had limited communications. However, that changed a year ago today when President Obama addressed the nation to report a change in U.S. Cuba policy. 

One year ago, President Obama announced that the United States was changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. He proposed to begin normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba and to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people to engage with each other. 

"In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.

" Through these changes, we intend to create more opportunities for the American and Cuban people, and begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas".

The President indicated he would take steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba. Over the course of the year, the U.S. has established an Embassy in Havana, Cuba and Cuban has established an Embassy in Washington, DC.

Back on December 10th the United States and Cuba reached an understanding during discussions in Miami to re-establish direct postal services between the two countries through the implementation of a pilot plan for the transportation of mail. The plan will provide for mail flights between the two countries several times a week, rather than routing mail through a third country. Details will be finalized in the coming weeks.

And now, the U.S. and Cuba are in discussions in setting out new terms for restoring scheduled flights between the U.S. and Cuba. At present American and Cuban travelers must fly on charter flights which can be very expensive and there are many restrictions in who can come and go from Cuba.



On Wednesday, Josefina Vidal, head of North American affairs for Cuba's foreign ministry has been in meetings since the beginning of the week in DC said the two countries are making progress and are negotiating the terms. "Have made important advances in negotiating a memorandum of understanding on establishing regular flights between Cuba and the United States, and shortly they will be ready to announce a preliminary agreement on this issue." It is believed that when the terms are worked out, there could be as many as a dozen flights a day bound for Cuba. It is unclear at this time what impact this will have on charter flights since airfares would most likely be cheaper, allow for more baggage and take less time flying to the island.

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