President Barack Obama sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office during a conference call with people of faith on Aug. 19, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
Cuba vacations coming soon... wsj.com/articles/obama…—
Carol Lee (@carol_e_lee) August 18, 2015
WSJ: Obama Administration Pushes For Deal To Start Flights To Cuba By Year’s End
The Obama administration is working to reach a deal with Cuba by year’s end that would allow travelers to fly on scheduled commercial flights between the countries, U.S. officials say, chipping away at a travel ban without requiring Congress to lift it. The agreement would allow airlines to establish regular service between the U.S. and Cuba as early as December, officials said, marking the most significant expansion of economic and tourism ties between the U.S. and Cuba since the 1950s, when Americans regularly traveled back and forth to Havana. The Obama administration is also exploring further steps to loosen travel restrictions for Americans to the island nation despite the decades-old congressional ban, officials said.
The twin moves, which follow the formal reopening last week of the American embassy in Havana, underscore the White House’s intent to solidify one of President Barack Obama’s major foreign policy achievements by making the Cuba shift nearly impossible for a future president to reverse. Only Congress can lift the long-standing U.S. travel and trade embargoes imposed against Cuba in the 1960s following the rise of Fidel Castro to power. But Mr. Obama has executive authority to grant exceptions to them. He announced several last December—such as allowing Americans to use credit and debit cards in Cuba and expanding commercial sales and exports between the two countries—and is considering others.
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