HAVANA TIMES — Mexico will condone 70 percent of Cuba’s debt of more than US $487 million in the framework of the new relationship agreed by their governments, news reports highlighted on Friday at the end of a two-day visit from Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.
Mexican Finance Secretary, Luis Videgaray, reported that the remaining 30 percent of the debt will be paid in 10 years and that the waiver expresses the desire to establish “a close relationship, not only among our people, but also economic.”
“Many years ago we had a problem of a financial nature with Cuba, a loan Bancomext issued the Cuban government and that today represents a debt of $487 million dollars and there was no payment agreement,” said Videgaray in an interview with MVS news in Mexico.
During Rodriguez’s visit, the governments of Mexico and Cuba signed eight agreements to broaden their relationship. Among the agreements is an extension of the Economic Complementation Agreement (ACE 51), which entered into force in 2001 and regulates the business relationship between the two countries .
The Mexican Economy Secretary reported that the two governments conducted four rounds of negotiations for the extension of the agreement, which ended in October 2013.
The main products of trading interest were: agribusiness, poultry, dairy, meats, chemicals, rum, tobacco, medicines and instruments and medical devices,” he said.
Rodriguez, who arrived Wednesday night to the Mexican capital, signed the agreements with the Minister of Finance, Economy and Foreign Relations.
Among the accords is also an extension of a line of credit for increased trade and investment; a letter of intent for bilateral cooperation; a treaty on extradition and another on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters; agreements on cooperation in tourism, and the mutual recognition and validation of degrees, diplomas and higher education studies.
The governments also signed a memorandum of understanding on the environment and natural resources.
Rodriguez met on Thursday night with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the official residence of Los Pinos.
“At the meeting, the Mexican president stressed the importance to our country’s historical ties to the Caribbean nation, which we hope to strengthen,” said the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
Both governments agreed to maintain the high level political dialogue and foster a closer relationship to develop trade relations and investment.
“In the work session, held at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry, Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade reaffirmed his country’s willingness to participate actively in the process of updating the economic model that exists in Cuba,” he said.