New Florida-Cuba flight corridor opens

Sept. 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. Cold War policies have thawed further as more flights from Florida to Cuba began this weekend in Fort Lauderdale.

The Airline Brokers Co. charter airline staged a Cuban-themed party event at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Saturday. Meanwhile, 110 passengers embarked on the short flight to Havana, The Miami Herald reported.

The company is leasing aircraft from JetBlue for its once-weekly return flights, the report said.

Since President Barack Obama loosened travel restrictions to the Caribbean island that was a lynchpin in the Soviet-U.S. Cold War that began in the late 1940s, travel there has begun from Miami, Tampa, New York, Los Angeles and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Cuba is just 90 miles from southern Florida and in 1962, President John Kennedy ordered a naval embargo based on intelligence that the Soviets were building ballistic nuclear missile launch sites on the island. Tensions cooled, although the United States still maintains a significant military presence at a 45-square mile Cuban base in Guantanamo in the southeast.

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