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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Obama's plan to ease Cuba travel restrictions could include Tampa



The Obama administration is developing plans to ease travel restrictions to Cuba, and an expansion of the cities that currently offer flights to the island country is on the table. A likely beneficiary: Tampa.

Currently, only Miami, New York and Los Angeles are authorized to handle direct flights. When Obama started talking about easing restrictions, officials in Tampa ramped up efforts to be added to the list. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, has been pushing the issue in Washington.

"I think the policy toward Cuba is going to change and Tampa has got to be well positioned to maximize the job opportunities," Castor said in July, when she became the first Florida lawmaker to sign on to a bill to end the travel ban.

The issue remains precarious, and many South Florida Democrats would likely stand with opponents. The changes apparently do not include travel by American tourists, only Cuban-Americans and family.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:20am]


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