Rubio, R-Fla., on Thursday laid into such trips and the Obama administration policies that make them possible.
“When I look at this stuff, you know what I want to say? Come on, man. This is about promoting democracy and freedom in Cuba?" Rubio said in a speech on the Senate floor. "This is not about promoting democracy and freedom in Cuba. This is nothing more than tourism. This is tourism for Americans that, at best, are curious about Cuba and, at worst, sympathize with the Cuban regime."
Meanwhile, another Florida lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, was pleased that her colleagues removed from a spending bill a measure that would have re-instituted limits on how often Cuban Americans can visit family members on the island and how much they can send them. Castor had argued that the limits would have hurt Cuban American families and economically hurt Tampa International Airport, which recently began hosting charter flights to the island.
“Cuban-American families can breathe a sigh of relief that their ability to visit family on the island nation will not be curtailed, especially during the holiday season, by last-minute political maneuvers," Castor said in a news release. Convenient, new airline flights such as those from Tampa International Airport will continue to serve our neighbors and boost our economy. I expect to see even more demand for these flights in the coming months and years.