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Long Beach–based Cuba Travel Services is taking advantage of the Obama administration’s recent loosening of some travel restrictions to Cuba by offering nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Havana, allowing travelers to bypass the long-used Tijuana airport connection. The company, which plans to offer weekly charters to the island on Continental Airlines 737s starting this week, is hyping the service as giving the estimated 100,000 Cuban Americans living in California a safer way to visit their homeland, avoiding the risk of drug-cartel-related violence that has plagued the Mexican border. Under the new Obama rules, family members are allowed visits to their Cuban relatives, but most other travel, with certain exceptions for reporters, sports teams, and government officials, is still banned.

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