The statement added that nine airports in the neighboring country will be affected, and said operators of that service will have a period of 60 days to discontinue all affected flights.
Also, Pompeo added that the DOT will also limit charter flights directed to the aforementioned Havana air terminal, which will be defined in an order to be issued in the near future.
This action is a new blow for the already affected air communication between the two nations, because by a similar measure last December 10, when the Trump administration canceled all flights of US commercial airlines to Cuban destinations outside the capital.
From the beginning of this restriction, charters saw their trips increase, mainly due to the demand of thousands of Cuban-Americans who need to visit their relatives in different provinces of the country away from Havana.
That alternative still present will disappear next March with the new decision, which will impose more restrictions on families, because routes that previously delayed only the time of travel by plane, will demand much longer movements by land from the capital to the final destination.
The Republican executive said he seeks to prevent the government of the Caribbean country from having access to income from US travelers; and mentioned as grounds for adopting these measures alleged violations of human rights and the support of the Antillean country to the constitutional government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
The same as with the previous restriction, this Friday’s announcement raised voices of condemnation against the Washington decision, which denounced that with it the Cuban people and families in both nations are harmed, while also limiting freedom of travel for Americans, who are forbidden to go to Cuba as tourists.
‘Who will be harmed by this? Families, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters. The Trump administration is hurting Florida and Cuban-American families … again’, said Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor on Twitter.
The Trump administration’s ‘New Year’s gift’ to the Cuban people highlights the cynical nature of current politics and a serious disconnection between the stated goal of ‘supporting the Cuban people’ and the real-time effect damaging it, said in turn, Collin Laverty, president of the Cuba Educational Travel organization.