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Florida Increases Restrictions on Travel to Cuba
The new measures will mean inevitable price hikes, further hindering contact between Cuban Florida residents and their relatives on the island, reports Granma on Thursday.

The directive increases controls on trips to Cuba, which are already limited by restrictions President George W. Bush imposed in 2004 to curb family remittances and visits.

Florida governor Charlie Crist signed the controversial bill, which imposes higher operational charges on companies licensed to arrange travel or freight shipments to Cuba by the US Treasury.

The new regulations stipulate that Florida-based firms will now have to post a bond of up to $250 thousand USD and pay a registration fee of $2,500 USD, as well as submit regular reports to the state government on the volume of passengers and freight going to Cuba.

Businesses and NGOs alike condemned the governor's decision to impose what they called an "unconstitutional" proposal that will ultimately affect Florida families who already have trouble visiting loved-ones across the Gulf of Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union stated the law ignores the separation between the State's powers and the federal government, and announced it could challenge its implementation before court.

Florida travel agents have also said they will take the matter to court.


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