Spain to Turn Cuban Debt into Investment to Counter US Measures

The Spanish embassy in Havana. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES – The Madrid government said on Monday that it would convert some 375 million euros (420 million dollars) of Cuban debt owed to Spain into investments in the island, reported dpa news.

The announcement came less than a week after the US reactivated a law allowing its citizens to sue foreign companies and individuals utilizing property confiscated in Cuba by the government.

“[The new fund] is good news,” said Reyes Maroto, the Spanish minister of industry, trade and tourism, in Havana.

“It will allow us to continue to develop investments of Spanish companies in Cuba and strengthen ties,” she added.

The money will be given to Spanish companies, without the need to refund it, to cover the expenses of investment in projects which the Madrid and Havana governments consider priorities for the Cuban economy.

Changes to the so-called Helms Burton Act, which had been suspended by previous US administrations in the hopes that it would encourage Cuba to democratize, came into effect on May 2 as part of White House efforts to increase pressure on Havana.

The European Union called the move illegal and said it undermined trust in the trans-Atlantic partnership.

Melia Hotels International, Barcelo and NH are some of the Spanish companies that have heavily invested in the island, a former colony.


17 thoughts on “Spain to Turn Cuban Debt into Investment to Counter US Measures

  • May 12, 2019 at 6:36 am

    SHAME SHAME SHAME to Spain for help castro but this happent because in a Spain in a lot a comunistas, trump need to do somthing about this FAST Spain can do that.

  • May 10, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Cheers Mr MacD.

  • May 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I got a great laugh from your final sentence Nick.

  • May 10, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    I have previously lived, studied and worked in Cuba. There are many people there in different provinces who are most dearly beloved to me and who welcome me as family.
    And rather than trade insults with you, I would refer you to Lyn Cruz’s recent article.
    It’s an excellent article. It’s so good, it could actually be written about you Jr.
    If there is God, or any other all-seeing, supreme, supernatural being, may he bless wherever you wish him to bless…..
    And I recommend that your trump prays that them eyes of needles up there are getting wider or that he finds himself a miniature camel.

  • May 10, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Nick, you and all those who preach and defend the socialist doctrines are the worlds biggest HIPOCRITES. Go to Cuba, Go to Venezuela and live under socialist communism and then come back and critizice UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. I was born and raise in Cuba, thats why i know you are and ignorant and a hipocrite, you go figure it out after your rage comes down.
    MAGA TRUMP 2020. Long live our patriots, Mr Helms and mr Burton. I will tell you more, it Biden was our president i would support him too even though i am a staunch Republican just because by supporting Biden (the rest are bunch of extremist socialists) i would be supportive of my democratic fellow americans. God bless america.

  • May 9, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I would agree with pretty much all of what you say in this comment Mr MacD.

  • May 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    As you know Nick from my comments here over several years, I am opposed to the US embargo because as you say it is a failure in its objectives, and in my view has acted as a whipping boy for all the incompetence of the Castro regime. Hence the regime utilizing it constantly on the media, political hoardings and rants within Cuba and dragging it like a dead cat, in front of the UN for twenty seven successive years knowing that doing so will be to no avail. Those countries that you say should stand up to US bullying are too concerned with their own interests, so to do! Currently Trump has without question made it much easier to criticize the US and to use the terms “bully” and “bullying”.
    Your use of “taking other peoples land by force” raises questions that started millenniums ago and to which there are a myriad of responses. The questions of which and who rightfully owns what, in a world of limited resources?
    As for the US electoral system, one presumes that the people of the US prefer it along with their Constitution – some of the contents and the consequences being in both your view and my own, deplorable. Not that either of us contributed to Hillary Clinton’s use of the term!

  • May 9, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I guess that these things are all relative Mr MacD. How does one weigh up public floggings against the taking of other people’s land by force or measure these against the carrying out of multiple crucifixions?
    Whilst no big fan of some of the aspects of Cuban governance, I would ultimately give more credence to the opinion of Nelson Mandela than that of the USA’s head bozo, trump, regarding Cuba.
    So how do you feel about the fact that U.S. policy regarding Cuba is based entirely upon the desperate need to win that juicy bunch of FLA Electoral College Votes ?
    And based on the traditional belief that the ‘Miami Mafia’ can deliver these votes ?
    President Obama, to his eternal credit, tried to rid his country of this sleazy and embarrassing tradition.
    Unfortunately there are many who condone the return of the mess that President Obama tried manfully to clean up.
    Back to your original question Mr MacD: Regardless of one’s view on the Cuban Government, this traditional U.S. policy has proven to be an abject failure when it comes to trying to bring Cuba’s government down. It only ever seems to effect the Cuban people and the interests of third countries. Third countries should stand up to this authoritarian and extra-territorial bullying.
    The U.S.A. does not have the right to try and dictate in this way.

  • May 8, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Would you Nick apply the same description that you give of the USA in your second sentence, also to Cuba?

  • May 8, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Your claim Lilia that it is only as a consequence of USA actions that Cubans have suffered “the extended dictatorship” is nonsensical. Invoking Christianity – I note that you regard yourself as a small c christian – is irrelevant. Time for you to up-date yourself upon the history of communism’s relationship to Christianity. Fidel Castro for example, was ex-communicated by the Pope! the USA can scarcely be described as “a disaster” just because it has a bully as current President. If you were fully aware of life as it actually is for the average Cuban existing under a totalitarian dictatorship you might perhaps fairly apply the description of “disaster” to Cuba.
    Why do you think it a good idea to support Cuba and Venezuela? Do you enjoy the struggles of the people of Cuba? Do you enjoy the Venezuelans being short of food and water with frequent electricity failures leaving them in darkness? How do you claim to be “christian” and hold such views?
    Please quote “Almighty God and His Word” with regard to people being treated as a “mass” rather than having individual rights.

  • May 8, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    It is a positive sign that some of the countries of the wealthy and developed world refuse to bow down to the authoritarian and undemocratic policies of the USA and it’s very right wing Liar-in-Chief.
    The sad hypocrisy is that the USA has so very often buddied up with some of the most despicable regimes known to mankind.
    The one and only reason that the current White House Rogues are trying to dictate to other countries regarding their respective relationships with Cuba is very simple:
    To win those precious 2020 Floridian Eletoral College Votes.
    That’s what it’s all about folks…..
    That’s the only thing it’s ever been about.
    And well done to all those nations that see through this disgraceful U.S. tradition and stand up to it.

  • May 8, 2019 at 8:20 am

    Very convenient, Spain support the Cuban Tyrant with new “investment”. I. The meantime the people survive under the pressure of the regime. Cubans work as slaves in the Spaniards properties Which according to Spanish people is not that bad, at the end the left never see anything bad on the other left. Of course the the Vega Cicilua will never be absent in the Castros’ table and Cuban cigars are always available for the top Spanish government. Thank God the US is still the leader of the world, without them it’s very difficult to imagine the existence of the socialist or communist.

  • May 8, 2019 at 8:10 am

    Yes, let’s make a profit, contradict USA, prepare for brutal capitalism of state, let’s look to the other way and ignore 60 years of lack of freedom, repression and deaths. Good for Spain shame on neocolonialism. But this bloody neocolonialism is fine I guess because is against the USA.

  • May 8, 2019 at 7:16 am

    As a christian I would never support any ideology which denies Almighty God and His Word…..but we have only the USA to thank for the extended dictatorship in Cuba. Democracy. HAH! What a joke. A country that swears upon a bible and disregards its content. Shame ON YOU! USA now more than ever is a disaster. Get your hands dirty and help Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

  • May 7, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    I see no reason why other countries should forgive a totalitarian dictatorship its debts. Even democratic Left-wing governments – virtually without exception (I stand to be corrected) build up debt as a consequence of introducing social programs for which they are unable to pay, and leave a trail of debt for succeeding governments to address. But in Cuba the ever increasing levels of debt are not a consequence of social programs, but rather a reflection of the adherence to long outdated early 19th century philosophy. China and Vietnam although communist, adopted capitalism and doing so has improved the standard of living for many of their people. Cuba’s Raul Castro written new Constitution specifically forbids capitalism – an example of dogmatic thought cutting the nose off its own face.

  • May 7, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Good for Spain! Hopefully other countries in the European Union and Canada will do the same.

  • May 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Cespedes, Agramonte, Marti (the Apostle of Cuba) Gomez and Maceo (the Bronze Titan) all led revolutions against Spain the colonial power that not only exploited Cuba and its people, but retained slavery until 1886. It was the despotic Spanish General Valeriano Weyler who established the world’s first concentration camps in Cuba in 1897 incarcerating some 300,000 Cubans with estimates that 30% of them died from disease and starvation. Spain rewarded Weyler’s horrific record by making him their Minister of War and later making him a Duke and Grandee of Spain. It was Spain that following the ending of slavery, became concerned that the number of black Cubans could exceed the whites. As a consequence they subsidized emigration from Spain to Cuba, The conditions were that the emigrants had to be white and Catholic. When the US entered the war against Spain, the Cubans had already been fighting against Spain for three years.
    It is a matter of convenience for the Cuban regime to concentrate their criticisms upon the US and to
    ignore the fact that for four hundred years, following the burning of Hatuey the Taino leader at the stake by the Spaniards, the enemy of the Cuban people and the freedom they sought was Spain. Perhaps a contributory factor is that Fidel and Raul Castro’s father was an immigrant from Galicia, being both white and Catholic.
    Spain investing rather than plundering in Cuba, is a welcome change, but there was little chance of them getting their money back as Chinese and Russian dept’s have priority. Putin forgave the several billion dollar debt owed by Cuba to the USSR, but it is creeping steadily upward again although far below the level of Chinese debt.
    To quote Jose Marti:

    “Cubans do not live as Spaniards live.”


    “Being good is the only way to be free. being cultured is the only way to be free. With human nature in general however, to be good one has to be prosperous.”

    Prosperity has been denied for Cubans by both Spain and the Castro communist regime, both of which only sought to exert power and control.

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