The Biden administration lifted Trump-era flight restrictions that prevented U.S. airlines and chartered flights from going to other cities in Cuba besides Havana on Wednesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said revoking the prohibition was in support of the Cuban people and in the “foreign policy interests of the United States.”
He had made a written request with the U.S. Transportation Department on Tuesday and the department made the change on Wednesday.
The Trump administration had issued several travel restrictions on Cuba between 2019 and 2020, which the Biden administration has said in recent weeks it plans to ease.
Cuba “uses tourism and travel funds to finance its abuses and interference in Venezuela. Dictators cannot be allowed to benefit from U.S. travel,” former President Trump’s secretary of state Mike Pompeo said at the time, according to Reuters.
The Biden White House also plans to lift restrictions on money that immigrants can send to people on the island.
The administration said it would also move to reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which has a backlog of more than 20,000 applications, and increase consular services and visa processing.
“With these actions, we aim to support Cubans’ aspirations for freedom and for greater economic opportunities so that they can lead successful lives at home,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said last month.