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Minnesota Governor Arrives in Cuba for US Food Expo - 2002-09-26

Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura is among a delegation of American food and agricultural business executives in Cuba taking part in a four-day exposition of U.S. food products.

Governor Ventura is set to open the show with Cuban President Fidel Castro Thursday in Havana. It features exhibits from hundreds of major companies from 33 American states looking to sell food products to Cuba.

A U.S. law that took effect in 2000 allows for direct commercial sales of food and other agricultural products to Cuba on a cash basis, creating an exception to the 40 year-old U.S. trade embargo against the communist island nation.

Cuba began taking advantage of the law late last year, buying $140 million worth of American commodities including grain, peas, beans, fruit and meats.

Governor Ventura is attending the exposition despite disapproval from the State Department.

The Minnesota governor is a political independent and a former professional wrestler and motion picture actor.