The Ana Cecilia has become the first cargo ship to sail from Miami to Cuba in 50 years.
The vessel arrived in Havana Bay on Friday, carrying charitable donations and gifts from Miami’s large Cuban exile community.
However, it seems people on the communist-run island were kept in the dark about the renewed shipments. One man thought the boat had sailed in days ago.
“It’s not in the press. I heard about it from other people,” said Wifredo O’Farril, a Havana resident.
“They said it arrived the day before yesterday, a yacht or ship with aid, some packages from people in Miami that were authorised to be sent to Cuba.”
The shipping company behind the Miami service hopes it will become a weekly fixture. It has been granted a licence by the US government, which has imposed a trade embargo against Cuba since 1962.
There are already similar links in place with other US ports.