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'Ana Cecilia,' first US ship sailing to Cuba in 50 years, arrives in Havana with aid

US-Cuba shipment heralds the beginning of a regular aid 'trade' between two old political enemies.

AnaceciliaEnlarge
The Ana Cecilia ship with humanitarian aid from the United States arrive at Havana's harbor, marking the first expedition of its kind in 50 years. Its clients for what will be a weekly shipment -- sailing some 16 hours from Miami to Havana -- include charitable, religious and humanitarian groups, as well as relatives of people living in Cuba, according to the transport firm International Port Corp . The Ana Cecilia can hold 16 containers. (Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)

The first US ship to sail to Cuba in a half-century arrived in Havana has arrived, reported Reuters

The Bolivian-flagged "Ana Cecilia" set sail from Miami -- home to a large Cuban community -- carrying aid packages and medicine, items not included in the 1960 US trade embargo, according to BBC News.

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The ship's arrival marks the first in what will be weekly Miami-Havana aid shipments thanks to a special dispensation obtained from the US Treasury, said BBC

Under the Obama administration, the US has also eased travel restrictions and changed remittance laws to allow Cuban Americans -- a group representing 80 percent of the entire Cuban diaspora -- to send money to relatives in Cuba, reported Al Jazeera.

Despite US trade restrictions, America is Cuba’s second-largest food supplier, according to the US State Department

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/120714/ana-cecilia-first-us-ship-sailing-cuba-50-years-arrives-h