AFP original title: China, Cuba to intensify trade as Havana meets debt payments
Comments by Havana Journal publisher in bold
Cuba will intensify its economic ties with China no interest loans, having met payments on its debt with Beijing paying pennies on the yuan, its second largest trade partner sugar daddy, Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas announced on Thursday.
Speaking on state-run television because there is no other legal television in Cuba, Cabrisas said Cuba is committed to “strict compliance of our financial obligations with China, including those related to the rescheduling of our debt.” Here’s a question. When did Cuba start borrowing/getting stuff for free from China? Maybe 2006? In just a few short years Cuba borrowed money from China, reneged on it’s debt to China, restructured it’s debt to China and started repaying that restructured debt. What a joke. I guess that’s why I laugh whenever I hear the words Cuba and invest in the same sentence.
Cabrisas, who gave no details about the size of Cuba’s debt with China of course not. There is no independent verification of ANYTHING in Cuba. Why should there be any mention of details? made his remarks after the conclusion Wednesday of the latest round of bilateral trade talks.
China’s growing investment financial gifts in Cuba can be seen in the context of helping Cuba’s domestic development, the minister said.
“We are heading into a higher stage (of investment) the author of this article added (of investment) but he should have added (debt Cuba will not repay) as part of our social and economic development plan for our country,” Cabrisas said. Read beg for money then restructure then freeze foreign bank accounts so we can pay pennies on the dollar then renegotiate the debt… that is Cuba’s “economic development plan”.
Beijing’s Minister for Commerce Chen Deming, who represented China at the talks, said Cuba’s payments towards its debt had “contributed to the restoration of confidence” between the two trade partners. Sounds like China was surprised that Cuba defaulted on their loans. Did they not read about Russia’s “investments” in Cuba?
China is Cuba’s second biggest trade partner after Venezuela. Their bilateral trade in 2011 was $1.9 billion, with about two-thirds of that balance in China’s favor. Does this mean China sold Cuba two-thirds of $1.9billion? That’s $1.25billion in “sales” to Cuba. Sales? on credit of course. Trade no repay loans to Cuba reached $870 million for the first half of this year.
The deal covers 10 joint enterprises—six in Cuba, four in China—in several areas, including farming, light industry and tourism.
The agreement also will allow Havana to obtain replacement parts for thousands of trains, buses cars and trucks purchased from China in 2006 by then-President Fidel Castro. Another important project involves China’s assistance with construction at Cuba’s key port of Mariel, news reports here said. Really? I have not heard much about China’s investment in Mariel. I thought Brazil was building everything there… on leased land of course. Of course China wants to muscle it’s way into Mariel for strategic shipping and commerce reasons.
Havana exports primarily commodities to China such as sugar and nickel, as well as some biotechnology products. I’m sure China knows the “risks” of “investing” in Cuba. They don’t expect to get paid back so long as they can lock up the commodities, proprietary biotech products and Caribbean shipping logistics.