Washington -- Wednesday's decision by the U.S. Transportation Department to make it easier to travel to Cuba was made under President Donald Trump. It lifted restrictions on flight that were in place during his administration.
These restrictions prevented U.S. chartered and airline flights from flying to Cuban cities beyond Havana. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote to the Transportation Department asking for the lifting of the restrictions. The agency responded on Wednesday.
Blinken stated that opening flights to Cuba was in support of the Cuban people as well as the United States' foreign policy interests. He stated that if the Transportation Department granted his request, scheduled and charter flights between the United States of America and Cuban airports could resume immediately.
Last month, the Biden administration announced that it would increase flights to Cuba and take steps to ease restrictions on U.S. travel to the island. It also proposed lifting restrictions on money immigrants can send to Cubans.
The administration stated that it will also take steps to restore the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program, which currently has more than 20,000 applications backlog, and to increase consular services as well as visa processing.
Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, stated last month that "with these actions we aim to support Cubans’ aspirations for freedom et for greater economic opportunities so they can live successful lives at home."