When the Obama administration announced its unilateral concession to the Castro dictatorship in the form of allowing any American to travel to Cuba for “people-to-people” contacts, we knew it would immediately become a relajo. In Spanish, relajo is a word that can be used to denote a complete lack of control, total mayhem, anyone and everyone doing whatever they want without any real consequences. And that is for the most part what has taken place with the Obama administration’s newly relaxed Cuba travel policy.
Within days of the announcement, travel and tour agencies began blatantly advertising tourist jaunts to Cuba. Thinly veiling their direct violation of U.S. law, they described these trips to Cuban beaches, salsa dancing lessons, mojito tasting events, and Cuban cigar factory tours as “people-to-people” contacts. It was what appeared to be a halfhearted effort to give the appearance they were following the rule of the law. But they knew, and the White House knew as well, that it was all a sham.
As expected, the relajo seems to be getting out of hand.
Feds investigating BWI flights to Cuba
Department of Transportation concerned that company is advertising before having its license approved to fly from Baltimore
It was undoubtedly exciting news: Baltimore would become one of the few spots in the U.S. offering flights to Cuba, a Communist nation largely off-limits to American travelers.
But one critical item had been overlooked: the paperwork.The Florida travel company that plans direct flights from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Havana is being scrutinized by federal officials for promoting its plans before receiving the necessary approval for charter flights.
“They’re licensed to fly out of another city, but not Baltimore,” Charles E. Smith, a U.S. Department of Transportation attorney looking into the matter, said Thursday.
Tampa-based Island Travel & Tours Ltd. raised eyebrows at the agency after BWI announced this month that charter flights between Cuba and Baltimore would begin in March. The government is working to determine whether the Nov. 4 announcement violated rules that prevent advertising before charter flight schedules have been authorized, Smith said.