Cuba temporarily reopened its consular services in the U.S. on Monday, following a bank decision to postpone until March 2014 the closing of the accounts of Cuba's diplomatic missions in Washington and New York.
The Cuban Interests Section (CIS), Havana's mission in Washington, stopped processing applications on Nov. 27 for passports and visas for travel to Cuba when its bank, M&T Bank, said it would no longer provide financial services to foreign diplomatic missions.
CIS said it would continue to receive deposits for consular services until Feb. 17, and that it would "continue efforts to identify a new bank."
This reprieve gives some breathing room for companies that operate people-to-people Cuba tours. Visas had already been procured for clients booked on December and January departures.
The operators remain hopeful for a longer-term solution.
"We anticipate a solution shortly," said Tim Popper, president of Insight Cuba. "All the powers that be are working together to come up with a solution. It is in everyone's best interests to do so."