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Cargo ship first to make direct US to Cuba delivery in 50 years

The Ana Cecilia is carrying humanitarian aid and complies with the US trade embargo on Cuba.

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A tugboat helps dock a cargo ship at the Port of Miami, from where a cargo ship has just left to make the first direct shipment to Cuba in 50 years. (Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images)

A cargo ship has left Miami to make the first direct maritime shipment of merchandise to Cuba since an embargo was declared by US President John F. Kennedy in 1962

CNN reports that the Ana Cecilia is loaded with humanitarian aid items, and has been organized by the International Port Corp.

"This is about the first direct shipment that's going to go there in 50 years," an unnamed spokesman for the company told the news service.

The International Port Corp has obtained a special permit from US authorities which complies with the US trade embargo on Cuba, according to AFP. It says its clients include charitable, religious, and humanitarian groups, as well as family members of people in Cuba.  

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"We assured that there was nothing to be sold in Cuba," company representative Leonardo Sanchez-Adega told the news agency.

Other Florida companies already ship to Cuba through third countries, but this is the first service direct from Miami to Havana, says a company press release published by the Havana Journal.

The Ana Cecilia is due to arrive in Cuba at 7am on Thursday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120711/cargo-ship-first-make-direct-us-cuba-delivery-50