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Obama Administration Approves Ferry Service To Cuba

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now to the evolving U.S. policy towards Cuba. The Obama administration has taken another step towards normalizing relations with the island. The Treasury Department has issued licenses for companies to run ferries to Cuba.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Before the Cuban Revolution, Americans and Cubans crisscrossed the Florida Straits on ferries all the time. They'd travel for shopping and nightlife.

GREENE: But that, of course, stopped after the U.S. embargo was put in place. Over the next several decades, thousands would flee Cuba across those same waters, many losing their lives on makeshift rafts.

INSKEEP: Now, if the Cuban government also gives permission for ferry service, it could start by this fall. A round-trip flight from Florida to Cuba takes less than an hour and can cost upwards of $400. A ferry ride from Miami to Havana takes a little bit longer, about 10 hours, but it'll be more affordable, expected to cost around $250 round-trip. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.