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President considers executive order to allow commercial flights to Cuba

Cuban government reportedly asks for national airline to fly to U.S.

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – President Barack Obama wants a deal to start regular commercial flights to Cuba by the end of the year.

For many years, the only way to get to Cuba by air was on a charter flight.  It worked well enough, but charter flights have their limitations.

Now the president is said to be considering an executive order that would authorize commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba. 

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is angry about the proposal. 

"Any effort to increase tourism travel to the island is illegal, but the Obama administration, once again, has decided to change the law when it is up to Congress to do so," Ros-Lehtinen said. "These changes will fill (Cuban President Raul) Castro's coffers, and it is another part of President Obama's legacy shopping list."

On Tuesday, American Airlines announced that it will soon start non-stop flights from Los Angeles to Havana. The Cuban government has reportedly asked that its national airline, Cubana de Aviacion, be allowed to fly to the U.S., but political experts said that is unlikely to happen.

"American Airlines is ready should a new agreement be reached and commercial flight be available between us and Cuba," American Airlines spokeswoman Martha Pantin said.

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