Russia Eyes Cuba’s 25 Billion Debt

HAVANA TIMES — Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said in late September that talks will begin concerning the debt of 25 billion dollars that Moscow is asking for from Havana, reports the Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

“I hope we can have discussions in October. These will still not be negotiations, but an attempt to resume the dialogue that was interrupted ten years ago,” said Storchak in Mexico, where he participated in a meeting of the G-20 nations.

The Russian deputy minister said that the order was received by President Vladimir Putin, noting that the financial situation has normalized in both countries compared to 2002, when the dialogue concerning Cuba’s debt was interrupted.


8 thoughts on “Russia Eyes Cuba’s 25 Billion Debt

  • October 4, 2012 at 6:27 am
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    Put up or shut up. What are the “numerous studies” you refer to?

  • October 4, 2012 at 6:24 am
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    The Dollars & Sense author wrote, “The fact that a poor, formerly colonized country can meet its citizens’ basic needs, while outperforming the United States on key measures, underscores how inexpensively the United States could follow suit.”

    It’s telling that ‘Moses’ asks what the “key measures” referred to are. As a capitalist and US government spokesperson he cannot imagine any key measures other than financial figures like GNP. Social issues are not on the table for dear old ‘Moses’.

    Thanks for asking. Here is a very partial list of some of the ‘key measures’ as listed in Chris Hedges excellent new book, “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” dealing with what’s really, really bad in the US, not just the superficial stuff its mass media reports, which is bad enough. Hedges wants to inform his fellow Americans about what their country really represents:

    – highest prevalence of mental health problems
    – highest obesity rate
    – highest proportion of population going without health care
    – highest consumption of antidepressants per capita
    – highest homicide rate
    – largest prison population per capita
    – worst score on the United Nations gender equality index
    – lowest score on the UN index of “material well-being of children”
    – Greatest inequality of incomes.

    “Moses’ writes, “The US faces economic collapse? Times are tough, but no where near collapsing.” Again quoting Chris Hedges:

    “The game, however is up. The clock is ticking toward internal and external collapse. Even our corporate overlords no longer believe the words they utter. They rely instead on the security and surveillance state for control. The rumble of dissent that rises from the Occupy movements terrifies them It creates a new narrative. It exposes their exploitation and cruelty. And it shatters the absurdity of their belief system… The corporate state knows only one word: more.”

    ‘Moses’ writes, if Capriles wins in Venezuela, Cuba will be “forced to pay market rate for all the oil they currently receive practically free from Venezuela”. Wrong. Cuba pays by an exchange – Cuban medical and recreation personnel in exchange for oil. Capriles has stated he won’t change that arrangement.

    ‘Moses’ writes, the motivation for the blockade ” is quite simple”, blaming it on the Cuban Diaspora. Wrong. The old guard is dying faster than Cuba’s leadership – probably something to do with the high obesity rate and lack of health care in the US Hedges writes about.

    More likely, the motivation of the blockade is what the Money & Sense author wrote – it keeps Americans from comparing the ‘key factors’ first-hand.

    It’s worth noting the attitude ‘Moses’ inadvertently illustrates in what he wrote when he claims the interests of a handful of Cuban-Americans take precedence over 11 million Cubans ” who don’t vote in US elections.” Got the message? Unless you’re American you don’t count. You can imagine what it would be like without an independent Cuban government – unless you become the 51st state, joining the sinking ship.

    ‘Moses’ writes, “there is no fear we might learn how to create food shortages, collapsing buildings and blackouts. We know how to do that and we have worked to avoid them.” That will be right about the learning process – Hedges is helping with that – and wrong about avoiding them based on facts on the ground.

    ‘Moses’ notes the trivial loss to the US economy that the blockade represents, ignoring what the Dollars & Sense author wrote, “While the dollar cost to the United States may be higher, Cuba has suffered a greater economic hit relative to its size and resources. Again, ‘Moses’ only cares about the American side. Of course he does. That’s what his propaganda represents. His message is obviously dangerous to the welfare of Cuba’s citizens.

  • October 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm
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    Grady, there are numerous studies which show that most of the IMF credit-backed loans which failed or led to failing economies were used to fund non-performing enterprises largely set up by corrupt politicians as money laundering schemes. There is blame to go around from the greedy bankers to the corrupt local politicians. In the end the people suffer. That still does not absolve Fidel from reneging on HIS agreements. What happened in West Africa does not justify his actions.

  • October 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm
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    Cuba has outperformed the US on key measures? What key measures? The US faces economic collapse? Times are tough, but no where near collapsing. For goodness sakes! If Capriles wins in Venezuela and Cuba is forced to pay market rate for all the oil they currently receive practically free from Venezuela, that´s what economic collapse looks like. The motivation for the blockade is quite simple. It is easier to maintain the blockade and keep the Cuban anticastristas happy then it is to piss them off for the benefit of a small island of 11 million people who don´t vote in US elections. There is no fear we might learn how to create food shortages, collapsing buildings and blackouts. We know how to do that and we have worked to avoid them. By the way, I will let you do the math but compare estimated lost revenues to US businesses due to the embargo with last year´s US GNP. Hint: .00001%

  • October 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm
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    Moses, when the IMF loans “money,” it doesn’t loan preexisting currency and coins. Its loans are credit extensions, not truly loans.

    It then sucks out the wealth of the recipient of out-of-thin-air credit by the parasitical institution of usury (interest). The IMF and World Bank are infamous for bankrupting countries, especially poor countries, through compounding interest.

    While you boo-hoo-hoo for the IMF, you might save a few tears for all the countries and peoples of the world who are the victims of the IMF. But I don’t think you get it, because you act as an ideological attorney and cheer leader for the international bankers.

  • October 3, 2012 at 10:18 am
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    And what costs has the US blockade caused? American ideologues and US government sycophants (remember, I reply in kind to purple prose) dare to comment on debts their government is directly responsible for to their hypocritical shame. And their two-faced president, announcing he would drop the blockade, then going back on his word, has the backbone of a bottom-feeding jellyfish.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that the embargo costs the U.S. economy $1.2 billion per year in lost sales and exports. The Cuba Policy Foundation puts the figure at $3.6 billion in economic output.

    The Cuban government estimates that the embargo costs the island $685 million annually. [Wikipedia]

    By 1992, U.S. businesses had lost over $30 billion in trade over the previous thirty years, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins. At that time, Cuba’s loss for the same period was smaller, but not by much: $28.6 billion [the size of its Russian debt]. While the dollar cost to the United States may be higher, Cuba has suffered a greater economic hit relative to its size and resources

    The fact that a poor, formerly colonized country can meet its citizens’ basic needs, while outperforming the United States on key measures, underscores how inexpensively the United States could follow suit.

    Cuba’s example could prove instructive to President Obama and his constituents as the United States faces economic collapse.

    And herein may lie the real motivation of the blockade, and its most significant cost: it keeps people from making such comparisons first-hand.

    If the only concrete threat the Cuban Revolution poses to the United States these days is the threat of a good example, isn’t it high time we bury the blockade? [Dollars & Sense]

  • October 3, 2012 at 4:39 am
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    I’m sympathetic to Cuba on this ones. Russia didn’t honour trade agreements that were made with the former Soviet Union on the grounds that the country no longer existed. On the same basis therefore any loans made during that era should also be void.

  • October 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm
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    Jajaja! Mexico finally was resolved to forgive more than $400 million in Cuban debt just a few months ago. If Russia thinks those deadbeat Castros plan to pay one chavito mas they are nuts! Remember, this is the same Cuba that walked away from billions of dollars in IMF debt years ago. I would like to hear how the socialists idealogues and Castro syncophants justify the moral right to borrow money under mutually acceptable conditions and then sleazebag your way out of paying the money back. By the way, after you have justified it, can you loan me a few bucks?

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