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United Began Direct Flights
Miami to Havana [MIAMI-DADE POLICE DEPARTMENT]
CRIMINAL INTELLIGENCE BUREAU
CIB UPDATE 98-36
June 18, 1998
UNITED AIRLINES BEGAN DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TO HAVANA, CUBA.
Effective July 4, 1998, direct flights from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Havana, Cuba began. United Airlines (UAL) was tentatively awarded the contract by ABC Charters of Miami for these flights.
ABC Charters was recently granted license approval by the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Direct flights to and from Cuba had been banned by Congress as part of economic sanctions imposed against Cuba. Mexicana Airlines and Lloyd Aereo Boliviano have expressed a desire to obtain OFAC licensing for direct flights to Cuba.
Security measures at MIA have been increased by UAL for their direct flights to Cuba to include explosive trace detention equipment and greater screening and handling of passengers and baggage.
Meeting with FAA security and airport police officials have addressed potential terrorist incidents as well as demonstrations at the airport intended to disrupt flight operations. These securities concerns are based on the number of Cuban exiles living in Miami who oppose any trade/relations with Cuba and the activity of paramilitary groups that seek to overthrow the Castro regime in Cuba.
A number of investigations are presently being conducted by FBI Miami relative to the activities of these groups. FBI Miami is in the process of canvassing all sources to determine if any viable threats exist against UAL and any future carrier traveling to Cuba.
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