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DEADLINE IS EXTENDED FOR TRADING IN U.S. BILLS

Because of the huge demand to dispose of the U.S. bills that were legal tender in communist Cuba for more than a decade, the Central Bank said Thursday that people will have an extra week to exchange their American money for a local currency tied to the dollar.

The need to extend the two-week transition period indicated that economic planners underestimated how many dollars had entered the country since they were made legal tender to help capture hard currency after the loss of Soviet aid.

President Fidel Castro has said the elimination of the dollar from circulation is necessary to protect Cuba from an increasing U.S. crackdown on foreign banks sending U.S. cash to the island.

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