Durbin Applauds Announcement of Scheduled Flights to Cuba

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded a proposal by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to select eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights between ten cities in the United States and Cuba.  
“Reopening travel relations with Cuba is about more than just restoring the freedom to travel there for all Americans—it’s about opening Cuba to new ideas, new values, and improved human rights that our 50 year old policy of isolation could not achieve,” said Durbin. “This is great news for U.S.-Cuba relations, and I hope that Chicago will be added to the list of U.S. cities with direct flights to Cuba in the future. There is a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives working to fully lift the embargo on Cuba, and while that will take time and political will, the American people are ready for this change and we are committed to getting it done.”
Last year, Durbin introduced the bipartisan Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which would end restrictions in laws enacted in 1996 and 2000 on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba—restrictions that do not exist for travel by Americans to any other country in the world.  The bill would also end restrictions on transactions related to travel, such as banking transactions.
Since 2009, Cuban-Americans have been able to travel to Cuba without restriction, but until December of 2014, that right did not extend to all Americans. While the Administration’s actions loosened some of the restrictions on travel and trade, only Congress can formally end the embargo.