US News Adjusting her debts, a cuba puzzle in full pandemic

12:45  04 may  2021
12:45  04 may  2021 Source:   france24.com

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  Régler ses dettes, un casse-tête pour Cuba en pleine pandémie © provided by the point

a fferd by the hardening of the American embargo and the absence of tourists with the pandemic, cuba ceased to repay His international creditors, but they hope to negotiate a return on the rails in the coming months.

concerning the money due to 14 countries including the France , the Spain and the Japan , the Paris Club - the instance that manages the discussions - plan to negotiate between May and June a new payments schedule After a one-year moratorium granted in 2020, indicated to AFP a diplomatic source.

as to the debt with private creditors, managed by the London Club, the investment fund CRF I LTD, which holds the largest share (1.2 billion euros, or 1.5 md USD), comes To make an offer of restructuring with a discount of 60% to President Miguel Diaz-Canel, in a mail whose AFP has obtained copies.

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At the recent Congress of the Communist Party marking its retirement, Raul Castro assured that the country wanted to "start comply with (its) international financial commitments when the economy recovers".

But there are exogenous factors currently weighing on the Cuban payments balance: the pandemic and the American sanctions ", comments Pavel Vidal, economist at the Javeriana University of Cali (Colombia).

for Cuba, "The situation is even more complicated" than in 2020, addresses the Economist Omar Everleny Pérez, the Christian Center for Reflection and Dialogue.

So "With what are we going to pay?" he continues. "It's true that there is a will to pay, but on the other hand, it's true that people do not have to eat".

Call for Clemence

The gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 11% in 2020 and imports, which cover 80% of the needs, are at the lowest since 2009, aggravating the shortages. "We can not ask for an additional effort to a country drowned by the pandemic," says Pérez.

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It is precisely a call for the clemency that President Diaz-Canel launched at the recent Ibero-American summit.

"Developing countries bear the unbearable burden on an external debt, already a thousand times paid, and some are also undergoing the impact of unilateral coercive measures," he said with reference to the US embargo, applied Since 1962.

For several months, the government has been campaigning, on social networks and through events in Cuba and the countries of the Cuban diaspora, to demand the lifting of the embargo, reinforced under Donald Trump.

The question of the debt of poor countries has returned to the foreground with the pandemic: the G20 granted to 74 countries a one-year moratorium, recently renewed for six months.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are intended to be at the bedside of fragile countries but Cuba is neither member of the two bodies and is on the front line facing creditors.

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"Back smoothly"

The agreement with the Paris club in 2015 had erased 8.5 out of 11.1 billion dollars due, the rest being converted into investment projects or staggered until 2033 (Cuba had to reimburse 85 million in 2020).

What to complete the island, in default of payment since 1986, on the right path after debt erase by China in 2011 (6 billion USD), Mexico in 2013 (487 million) and Russia in 2014 (35 MDS).

The country is, however, in lack of payment with Brazil since 2018 and owes to Argentina 2.7 billion, a debt dating back to the 1970s.

for John Kavulich, President of the Cuban American Economic Council, "now, another Recyclassing (from the Paris club debt) will be necessary, and the participating countries are prepared there ", because they" have few means of pressure and Cuba knows it ".

As for the commercial debt, CRF I Ltd proposes in its mail "a settlement agreement that will end the costs, the bad advertising and the stigma weighing on Cuba, while facilitating a possible gentle return on the international financial markets" .

For Eleven years, the Fund tries in vain to negotiate an agreement. In the past, its offers have remained a dead letter and its legal action, launched in London in 2020, is still in progress.

04/05/2021 07:44:31 - The Havana (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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