Travel agencies rush amid Cuba banking deadline

CHRISTINE ARMARIO

MIAMI (AP) — Travel agencies that offer flights to Cuba are again rushing to get passport and visa applications submitted as the deadline for the Caribbean nation to find a new bank for its diplomatic accounts in the United States quickly approaches.

Cuba temporarily stopped providing almost all consular services at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington and its Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York in November. The U.S. State Department said the U.S. bank that had handled Cuba's accounts severed the relationship due to a "business decision."

M&T Bank later agreed to continue accepting deposits through Feb. 17.

The Cuban Interests Section has not provided any information since, and travel operators in Miami said they were advised by consular agents to submit all documents a week before the deadline.