The Biden administration on Wednesday gave the green light to American Airlines to resume service to several locations in Cuba.
The decision marks an about-face from the Trump administration which had blocked flights to places in Cuba beside Havana, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. Department of Transportation will allow the airline to conduct daily flights between Miami, Florida, and several locations in Cuba, including, Camagüey, Holguín, Santiago de Cuba, and Matanzas/Varadero — the company will also offer two flights daily to Santa Clara, Cuba. The airline requested to start the flights in November. The company currently offers flights to Havana.
"This is the Department’s first approval of a U.S. air carrier seeking to increase scheduled air services to Cuba since the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement in May of new steps to support the Cuban people and strengthen ties between our citizens. This change will make it easier for families to visit their relatives in Cuba and for authorized U.S. travelers to engage with the Cuban people, attend meetings, and conduct research," the Transportation Department's press release stated. "On June 1, 2022, the Department revoked certain U.S.-Cuba air services restrictions," the release noted.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a popular figure on the political right, blasted the Biden administration for allowing more flights to Cuba.
"The Biden Administration’s decision to allow more flights into Cuba will only enrich the pockets of the communist dictators who have trampled on the rights of Cubans for decades. Biden should stop kowtowing to dictators throughout our hemisphere and start standing for freedom," DeSantis tweeted on Thursday.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida lambasted the Biden administration's handling of Cuba earlier this week, declaring in a tweet on Monday, "One year ago today the people of #Cuba took to the streets demanding #Libertad Over the last 12 months the Biden administration has done nothing to punish the regime & instead looked for ways to appease them."
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a consumer price index report on Wednesday that revealed inflation continuing to skyrocket — commenting on the dismal economic data, DeSantis issued a tweet in which he referred to "Bidenflation."
"Brutal inflation report shows a devastating increase of 9.1.% year-over-year. Bidenflation is wreaking havoc on workers, families & small businesses - a consequence of anti-American energy policy, exorbitant borrowing & printing of money & counterproductive federal regulations," DeSantis tweeted.