White House proposes lighter ban on Cuba flights

WASHINGTON -- The Clinton Administration proposed to increase direct commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba, "geared toward easing the burden on families that are separated but want to get together."

The proposal specifies that "travel for recreation or tourism, or travel otherwise in contravention of the embargo, continues to be prohibited."

The White House authorized flights between Miami and Cuba last March, and the proposal would add more cities in both countries. So far, specific cities have not been determined, according to a State Department spokeswoman.

The proposal was part of a broader plan to take limited steps to improve access and humanitarian aid to Cuba, including increasing food and agricultural exports to the island and opening direct-mail service.

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