international intrigue

If Obama Has His Way, Americans Will Be Able to Schedule Flights to Cuba by 2016

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Corbi

Travel from the U.S. to Cuba has already increased 35 percent since the beginning of January, and the current administration is working to boost that number even more by the time President Obama leaves office. Only Congress can lift the travel and trade embargoes against Cuba, but the Obama administration is looking for ways to facilitate travel without congressional involvement. The Wall Street Journal reports that the administration hopes to reach a deal with Cuba by the end of the year that will allow airlines to establish regular service between the two countries. Previously, authorized travelers usually took charter flights to Cuba. While technically Americans’ travel to Cuba must fall into one of 12 authorized categories, now preauthorization from the federal government isn’t necessary. Under the new arrangement, Americans may be able to book their own scheduled commercial flights online and plan individual “people to people” cultural exchanges without going through a tour group.

Obama Wants Americans Flying to Cuba by 2016