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International patrons agree to restructure Cuban sovereign debt

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

China, Russia, Algeria, and Turkey have moved to restructure Cuba’s debt, provide new investment, and shore up its creaking energy sector, Reuters reports. The support was generated after President Miguel Díaz-Canel took a rare international tour to seek help tackling slowing economic activity, worsening blackouts and shortages of food, medicine and fuel.

Díaz-Canel said that Algeria and Russia had agreed to provide oil supplies to make up for reduced Venezuelan imports. The President also claimed to have finalized deals to fix decaying electricity infrastructure and finance wind and solar projects.

While China is Cuba’s most important commercial partner after Venezuela, trade and investment have declined by over $700 million over the past five years due to Cuba’s failure to meet debt payments.

“It was a beggar’s tour,” said John Kavulich, who headed the US-Cuba Trade and Economic Council in New York. “For the Cuban government to say this was a success is tortuous logic. It was somewhat embarrassing,” he added.

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