Cuba Flights Spark Security Concerns After TSA Admission
September 16, 2016
Following an admission from the Transportation Security Administration
that air marshals have not been allowed to board U.S. commercial flights
to Cuba, some lawmakers havecalled for the flights to be suspended.
I think we need to unite across the aisle and basically say no matter
how you feel about Cuba policy, we all agree that travel to Cuba should
be safe, no less safe than travel to the Bahamas, no less safe than
travel to the Dominican Republic, no less safe than travel to Mexico,
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said.
He also pointed to the security necessity of having air marshals on
flights following the terror attacks that took place on 9/11: You now
have flights 90 miles from our shores that could theoretically be
commandeered, he said, the Hill reported.
Rubios remarks came after TSA authorities revealed that despite
statements affirming that U.S. marshals were onboard some of the
commercial flights to Cuba that began in late August, Cuba has not yet
signed an agreement that would allow marshals onboard.
U.S. Rep. John Katko, who chairs theHouse Homeland Security Subcommittee
on Transportation Security and has also accused the TSA of deception,
criticized Cuban airport security earlier this month, arguing that the
U.S. needed more clarity on Cuban screeningcapabilities before
continuing the flights.
"They haven't told us whether or not there have been any inspections
done," Katko told local news source the Auburn Citizen, adding,"They
haven't told us anything."
JetBlue began the first non-chartered flights to Cuba at the end of
August. American, Frontier, Silver Airways, Southwest, and Sun Country
have also either begun flights or obtained permission to do so.
Diplomats have hailed renewal of the U.S.-Cuba routes after five decades
as a landmark moment between the two nations. President Barack Obama in
particular has looked to rebuild ties with the U.S. neighbor to the
south since December 2014.
Source: Cuba Flights Spark Security Concerns After TSA Admission -