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October 2016
When Cuba opened up to U.S. airlines earlier this year, nearly all rushed in with requests to add new service to the island. Against that enthusiasm, however, some industry executives openly wondered whether demand would live up to the hype.
With just under 100 days remaining in office, President Obama has launched a final offensive to assure that his administration’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba will outlast his presidency and be recorded as one of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the annals of US foreign policy. With great fanfare, on October 14 Obama issued a comprehensive directive as well as new regulations to further normalize relations and nullify key aspects of the 55-year-old economic embargo that, to date, the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to lift. Most importantly, the new presidential directive mandates positive engagement, as opposed to perpetual hostility, as the modus operandi of future US policy toward Cuba.
President Barack Obama’s recent directive to make his friendlier policies toward Cuba “irreversible” got applause from many interested parties and travelers — particularly with the end of limits on the amount of Cuban cigars and rum visitors can bring back from the island.