Office of the Spokesperson
At the request of the Secretary of State, the U.S. Department of Transportation suspended until further notice scheduled air service between the United States and Cuban international airports other than Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport to prevent the Cuban regime from profiting from U.S. air travel. U.S. air carriers will have 45 days to discontinue all scheduled air service between the United States and all airports in Cuba, except for Jose Marti International Airport.
In line with the President’s foreign policy toward Cuba, this action prevents revenue from reaching the Cuban regime that has been used to finance its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela. In suspending flights to a total of nine airports, the United States impedes the Cuban regime from gaining access to hard currency from U.S. travelers staying in its state-controlled resorts, visiting state-owned attractions, and otherwise contributing to the Cuban regime’s coffers near these airports.
United States continues to hold Cuba accountable for its repression of the Cuban people, and its interference in Venezuela, including its unconscionable support of the illegitimate Maduro regime. The human rights situation in Cuba remains abysmal, with state authorities harassing and arbitrarily jailing activists, dissidents, artists, and others questioning regime authority with impunity. Despite widespread international condemnation, Maduro continues to undermine his country’s institutions and subvert the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination. Empowered by Cuba, Maduro has created a humanitarian disaster that destabilizes the region.
For more information on the suspension of these scheduled flights, please refer to the Notice posted in the federal docket management system at www.regulations.gov in dockets: DOT-OST-2016-002, DOT-OST-2016-0226, and DOT-OST-1998-20.
further information, please contact WHA Press at WHA_Press@state.gov.