ASTA president attends embassy flag-raising in Cuba

Travel Weekly

By: Robert Silk

ASTA President Zane Kerby was on hand Friday morning as the American flag was raised for the first time over the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana.

The flag raising, which was presided over by Secretary of State John Kerry, came more than 54 years after the embassy was closed during the height of the Cold War and in the aftermath of the Castro revolution.

“ASTA is honored to have been witness to this milestone event in the new course in U.S. relations with Cuba," Kerby said in a statement. "We have long believed that allowing Americans to travel across the globe without restriction enables them to act as ambassadors of freedom, and we pledge to do all we can in conjunction with the Administration, the Congress and key allies such as Engage Cuba to ensure that Americans are free to travel to Cuba without constraint from their own government."

Engage Cuba, a public policy group created to push for an end to the 53-year trade embargo with Cuba, launched in June. ASTA is a member of that group.

Eben Peck, ASTA's senior vice president of government and industry affairs, also attended the flag raising.