Power Breakfast: Traveling To Cuba Made Easy | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Power Breakfast: Traveling To Cuba Made Easy

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The Obama administration is moving quickly to implement a new policy that relaxes travel restrictions against the island. Maryland Senator Ben Cardin says he's glad BWI will get some new business.

"Obviously it's consistent with some of the restrictions that are in place and I'm for easing some of those restrictions on Cuba," he says.

The White House acted earlier this year to make it easier for some Americans to travel to Cuba despite the ongoing trade embargo. Those include some college students, religious groups and nonprofit cultural organizations.

Florida Rep. Kathy Castor lobbied hard to make sure one of the new airports on the list would be in her district, which is second only to Miami for the size of its Cuban-American population.

"It's a real hassle, an inconvenience, for the many Cuban-American families in the Tampa Bay area to have to have to travel to Miami, to fly out of the Miami International Airport when we have a world-class airport," she says. "This will save them money and a lot of inconvenience."

Not everyone is so happy. Florida Sen. Mark Rubio, a Republican whose parents were born in Cuba, is a prime example.

"I don't think we should reward countries that are state sponsors of terrorism with increased travel from American citizens to leave money there," Rubio says.

He recently introduced legislation along with New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez to ban new charters to the island. But it hasn't gone anywhere yet. Currently only airports in Miami and New York offer flights to Cuba. Los Angeles could, but doesn't. Before the expansion can go forward, the Cuban government has to grant its approval.

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