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U.S. agency denies exemptions for Cuba cargo flights -statement

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department said Wednesday it is denying exemptions for two charter flight companies to deliver cargo to Cuba, the latest crackdown by the Trump administration.

Two U.S. companies had applied to deliver cargo flights to ship small or personal parcels containing food, medicine, hygiene and medical supplies, arguing the deliveries were humanitarian in nature. The Transportation Department said the State Department determined that the flights did not fall within exemption guidelines.

The Trump administration effective Oct. 13 suspended authority of U.S. and foreign carriers to provide charter flights between the United States and Cuba. (Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)