U.S. State Department hosts Q&A session regarding Cuba travel via Twitter

Posted: 11-Aug-15 12:24

Due to the growing interest amongst Americans and Cuban-Americans in visiting the Cuban island, the U.S. State Department offered an open Q&A session via Twitter yesterday afternoon. This initiative's aim was to give U.S. citizens more personalised information on Cuba travel ahead of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry's visit to the island to raise the American flag on Havana's recently reopened U.S. embassy.

U.S. State Department hosts Q&A session regarding Cuba travel via Twitter

Only four days before John Kerry’s visit to the island, the US State Department hosted an open Q&A session via Twitter for American citizens who wished to receive more information on Cuba travel and the progress that is being made in the normalisation process between the two countries. As it took place on Monday afternoon, 10th August, many U.S. and Cuban nationals reached out to the government’s account in Spanish @USAenEspanol to clarify certain doubts.

Many questions were related to the re-opening of the embassies, the lifting of travel restrictions, requests for more flights to the island and the end of the embargo. The US State Department responded to each one of the questions and insisted that the legal matter of the US Embargo towards Cuba was a complicated issue that depended on Congress’ decision, as President Obama had already requested the elimination of this Cold War policy.

One of the most frequent travel inquiries was suggested by @sorel2011:

"Will there be commercial flights from Miami to Havana?"

@USAenEspanol responded:

"There are already charter flights and we hope to provide regular commercial flight service soon."

Other tweeters were concerned about starting off professional relations with the country.

@TAITRAMiami’s question was: “Can US citizens travel to Cuba on business trips and participate in international fairs (as visitors and exhibitors)?” @USAenEspanol advised them to seek more information on their website: “See authorization for business meetings or transactions related to exportation #USCuba http://goo.gl/HqohK7”

Finally, people were interested in whether American citizens would at some point be able to travel freely to the Caribbean island as tourists.

@cronicasdecuba inquired:

"Can President Obama’s executive authority allow US citizens to travel to Cuba as tourists, beyond the 12 legal categories?"

@UsaenEspanol insisted:

"Congress action is needed to allow US citizens to travel to Cuba as tourists."

Participation in this Q&A session is now closed, as the day of Kerry’s trip to Cuba approaches. The Secretary of State will officially open the U.S. embassy in Havana on 14th August, as part of the re-establishment of diplomatic bonds between the nations. This historic event will mark the first time in over five decades that a U.S. Secretary of State travels to the island and it follows the raising of the Cuban flag at Cuba's new embassy in Washington, which on 20th July 2015 marked the beginning of the end of more than 50 years of hostility and lighted up a new sense of hope for collaboration and harmonious coexistence for years to come.


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