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Cuba Relations

Together as a community we have pressed for positive change to improve the lives of Cubans and Americans and turn the page on the Cold War Policies of the past 50 years. On Dec. 17, 2014, we celebrated the historic announcement of President Obama, who answered our community's call for change:  Re-establishing diplomatic relations, expanding travel opportunities and support for Cuban people. The Tampa community was central to this historic normalization of relations with Cuba!

I was the first member of Congress from Florida to call for modernization of the longstanding ban on traveling to Cuba by cosponsoring a bill that would open travel to Cuba to all Americans. Not only would this help Cuban-Americans, this would create jobs and boost our economy. I have been working hard to ease travel restrictions for Cuban-American families and to designate Tampa International Airport as an entry/exit point for charter flights to the island nation. We have made progress. In 2009, President Obama issued an executive order to lift travel restrictions on family travel to Cuba and to increase the amount of monetary remittance that families could send to relatives in Cuba. Today, TIA is one of the busiest airports for direct flights to Cuba.

I hear the personal stories of families trying to visit loved ones in Cuba. I remain committed to working with President Obama to breathe new life into Cuba travel restrictions.  Below you will find more information about the work we are doing to help our neighbors and improve our relations with the island nation.

-Kathy Castor

Top Cuban diplomat pushes for better ties with U.S., Tampa Bay
01/30/2014 -- U.S. Rep Kathy Castor and Cuba's top diplomat to the United States pushed for improved relations ... More

Weekly flights from TIA to Cuba prove to be big money maker
12/10/2013 --
Another big money-making flight is coming to Tampa -- it'll go to Havana ... More​

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor: Lift Cuba embargo, travel limits
04/09/2014 -- Saying "It's time to try something new," U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Monday called for the Obama administration and Congress to lift ... More

Castor and TIA highlight success of direct Cuba flights
Since the airport began offering nonstop flights to Cuba in 2011, about 92,000 passengers have made use of the service ... More

Tampa-Cuba air service had great first summer

Sep 29, 2012 - One year after launching charter air service between Tampa International Airport and Cuba, the flights have met expectations — and ridership is poised to grow in the coming year... More

Proposal to Limit Cuban-American Travel Removed
Dec 16, 2011 - U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released the following statement regarding the removal of a harmful legislative policy rider that would have reinstituted harsh travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans... More

Castor Encourages "Gateway to Cuba"
Sept. 8, 2011 - Tampa - Congresswoman Kathy Castor released the following statement today regarding the inaugural flight from Tampa International Airport to Havana, and the need to focus on economic growth tied to the “gateway to Cuba” plan ... More

Charter Company Granted Landing Rights in Cuba
July 27, 2011 - Tampa - Families and cultural organizations from the Tampa Bay area will now save time and money with direct flights to Cuba. After years of working on behalf of Tampa’s Cuban-American families, Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced today that a charter air line company has received the first landing rights for flights from Tampa International Airport to Havana. ... More

Rep. Castor's Statement on Florida Orchestra Trip to Cuba
June 1, 2011 - TAMPA - U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor released the following statement today regarding the Florida Orchestra’s approval by the U.S. Department of Treasury for its cultural exchange with Cuba.  Castor urged expeditious approval of the license over the past weeks. ... More

TIA To Open for Cuba Charter Flights
Jan. 14, 2011 - TAMPA - U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor announced today that Tampa Bay area families soon will be able to travel directly from Tampa International Airport to Cuba to visit their loved ones in the island nation. They no longer will have to endure the additional financial and logistical hardship of traveling through the Miami Airport. ... More

Castor Supports Lift of Travel Ban to Cuba

Jul 22, 2010  - WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Kathy Castor announced today that she is stepping up pressure on the Obama Administration to approve charter airline flights from Tampa International Airport to Cuba by signing on to the bill that will open travel to Cuba by all Americans.  “There is g... More

Castor trabaja para levantar las restricciones de viajes a Cuba
Jul 22, 2010  - WASHINGTON, D.C. – La Congresista Kathy Castor anuncio hoy que ella está presionando la administración de Obama para que autoricen vuelos de aerolíneas desde el Aeropuerto Internacional de Tampa hacia Cuba y firmara un proyecto de ley que permitirá viajes a Cuba para todos los estadounidenses. "... More      
Congresswoman Castor's Statement On Obama's Cuba Announcement
Apr 13, 2009  - Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor applauded President Barack Obama today for the decisive and necessary actions he took to lift travel restrictions to Cuba so families can more easily visit their loved ones and send money to their relatives. “President Obama’s decision to stand up for families off... More      

La Congresista Castor Responde Al Anuncio De Obama Sobre Cuba
Apr 13, 2009  - La Congresista de Florida Kathy Castor aplaudió al Presidente Barack Obama hoy para las acciones decisivas y necesarias que él tomó con respecto a restricciones de viajes de levantamiento a Cuba para que las familias más fácilmente puedan visitar a sus amados y enviar el dinero a sus parientes.   ... More
Castor Hails ‘Victory For Families’ In Passage Of Bill That Loosens Travel Restrictions To Cuba
Mar 11, 2009  -   Congresswoman Kathy Castor hailed the passage of provisions that allow family members to more frequently visit their relatives in Cuba. The provisions are contained in the annual appropriations bill.   “This is a huge victory for families in the Tampa Bay area,” Castor said. “The unnecessary ... More      

Castor Dice: ' Victoria Para las Familias’ Al Pasar de la Propuesta Que Reduce Las Restricciones de Viajes a Cuba
Mar 11, 2009  -     La Congresista Kathy Castor aclamó el paso de las provisiones que permiten a miembros de familia visitar a sus parientes en Cuba con más frecuencia. Las provisiones están contenidas en la propuesta de apropiaciones anual.   "Esto es una enorme victoria para familias en la Bahía de Tampa," Ca... More

Castor Embraces Looser Travel Restrictions To Cuba
Feb 24, 2009  - WASHINGTON, D.C. – A provision in the appropriations bill that would allow family members to more frequently visit their relatives in Cuba is a victory for families in the Tampa Bay area, Congresswoman Kathy Castor said.   Our efforts will allow family members to visit Cuba once a year, rather tha... More      

Una victoria para las familias con parientes en Cuba
Feb 24, 2009  - WASHINGTON - Una provisión en la propuesta de apropiaciones que permitira a miembros de familia visitar a sus parientes en Cuba con mas frecuencia es una victoria para las familias en la Bahía Tampa, dijo hoy la Congresista Kathy Castor.   Nuestros esfuerzos permitirán a miembros de familias visit... More