U.S. Makes 1st Food Sales to Castro´s Cuba

WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 29, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The United States has sold food to Cuba for the first time since the island went communist, Reuters reported.

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The U.S. Agriculture Department today confirmed the first export sales of American wheat, corn, rice and soy products to Cuba in 41 years.

In its weekly export sales report, USDA said Cuba purchased 50,000 tons of U.S. wheat, 43,000 tons of corn, 12,000 tons of soybeans, 20,000 tons of soy meal, 5,000 tons of soy oil and 12,500 tons of rice for the week ended Nov 22.

Devastated by Hurricane Michelle earlier this month, Cuba last week reached out to the United States for food.

The U.S. slapped an embargo on trade with Cuba soon after President Fidel Castro gained power in 1959 and installed a communist government. But last fall Congress enacted legislation that eased some restrictions to allow cash sales of food and medicine to the island.

The U.S. agriculture community hopes any shipments would mark the opening of a longer-term trading relationship.

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