Cuba sees eased travel to U.S. by year's end


Nonstop flights from the U.S. to Cuba could be part of diplomatic negotiations agreed upon by the end of the year.

Cuban officials confirmed Tuesday that its government may be ready to agree on specific aspects of a plan that would normalize travel between both countries, including the opportunity for airline companies to strike deals that would scrap the three-hour check-in requirements for chartered flights to Cuba, and instead allow regularly scheduled direct flights.

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"We are very close to the first agreements that we can announce in the next few weeks," Josefina Vidal, Cuba's head of North American affairs, told reporters at the Cuban Embassy Tuesday. "I am almost certain that by the end of the year we can announce some results in those areas."

Cooperation on environmental protection, direct postal service and actions against drug trafficking are also part of the package being considered.

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