US lifts restrictions on air links with Cuba

US lifts restrictions on air links with Cuba

The US government’s Department of Transportation on Wednesday lifted sanctions on air links with Cuba, one of the measures announced in May by the Biden administration in a gesture of appeasement with the island.

The decision will notably allow American airlines to serve airports other than that of the capital Havana, according to a document. The re-authorization of certain group trips on the spot was also planned.

“Developing economic opportunities”

On May 16, the Biden administration announced the upcoming lifting of a set of sanctions targeting the island, “practical decisions intended to respond to the humanitarian situation” in Cuba and to “expand economic opportunities” for Cubans, had explained a senior American official.

The US government also promised to increase visa processing capacity in Havana.

The United States must also remove the cap of $1,000 per quarter and per sender/recipient which has so far limited money transfers to Cuba, and will also authorize sending money outside the family.

This ceiling was decided by former President Donald Trump, who took a series of measures against Cuba during his tenure. These announcements of May 16 were welcomed by the Cuban government, evoking “a small step in the right direction”, but “of limited scope”.

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