The Transportation Department has announced that all U.S. flights to Cuba will be suspended, except for those to Havana.
In a notice issued on Friday, the department revealed the new policy that will ban U.S. airlines from touching down in nine Cuban airports starting in December. They include the popular resort destination of Veradero and the country's second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba.
The move was made at the request of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "to further the Administration's policy of strengthening the economic consequences to the Cuban regime for its ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela."
Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez responded in a tweet, saying: "I strongly reject new U.S. blockade measure that bans U.S. airlines' flights to 9 Cuban airports; strengthens US citizens' travel ban; mutilates US people liberties & damages people-to-people contacts."
Airlines will have a 45-day grace period to finish out service to destinations in Cuba. American Airlines and Jet Blue, two airlines that regularly fly to cities in Cuba — other than Havana — both said they intend to comply with the new restrictions.