Ferry service between countries set to run for the 1st time in 50 years

Services between both countries had stopped when the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960.

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All is well between Cuba and the United States again after 50 years of enmity and to further the newly restored ties, the US government approved new services enabling ferry services to run between both countries.

The US government has now lifted the ban and a number of ferry companies say they have been given licences.

However,  according to a BBC correspondent the latest announcement does not necessarily mean that boats will start launching for Cuban shores straight away, as there are bureaucratic hurdles to overcome in both countries.

But the move  is another indication of improving relation between both countries as there have been moves on both sides to restore diplomatic relations between US and Cuba.

Lauding the move, President of the Miami-based United Americas Shipping Services Joseph Hinson called the move "a great step forward", adding that if things went smoothly, "we could have things up and running by September".

With the ban lift, ferries will also be allowed to transport cargo to Cuba, which sits 150km from southern Florida.

Earlier on, a new charter flight service from New York City, operated by JetBlue, had been announced.

However, despite the new flights and ferry services, a travel ban on Cuba is still in place for US citizens, as only those who have the right paperwork in 12 different categories are permitted to visit the island.

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