Trade group: US ag exports to Cuba hit record

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HAVANA (AP) -- A U.S.-Cuba trade group says the island has spent a record $536 million for American agriculture goods through the third quarter, already surpassing all annual amounts since 2001.

The U.S. Trade and Economic Council says that most of the growth is because of price increases, and not quantities. The council released the figures Friday.

Washington's nearly 50-year-old trade embargo prohibits nearly all trade between both countries, but Cuba has been allowed to buy U.S. food and agricultural products with cash payments since 2000. Cuba began taking advantage of the loophole in the American trade sanctions after a hurricane ravaged parts of the island in November 2001.

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