Today, at my request, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) suspended until further notice all public charter flights between the United States and Cuban destinations other than Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Nine Cuban airports currently receiving U.S. public charter flights will be affected. Public charter flight operators will have a 60-day wind-down period to discontinue all affected flights. Also, at my request, DOT will impose an appropriate cap on the number of permitted public charter flights to José Martí International Airport. DOT will issue an order in the near future proposing procedures for implementing the cap.
Today’s action will prevent the Cuban regime from benefitting from expanded charter service in the wake of the October 25, 2019, action suspending scheduled commercial air service to Cuba’s airports other than Havana. Today’s action 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. 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 U.S. travelers.
For more information on this action, please refer to the notice posted in the federal docket management system at www.regulations.gov.
For further information, please contact WHA Press at WHA_Press@state.gov