The agreement with the Paris Club is crucial for Cuba: in 2015, it is with this instance that it had negotiated the restructuring of its debt owed to 14 countries, to erase 8,5 of $ 11.1 billion due.
May 20, 2020 20h02
Weakened by the pandemic, Cuba, request a break to its creditors
HAVANA — Weakened economically by the impact of the pandemic, Cuba wants to suspend until 2022 repayment of its debt to the Paris Club, hoping to benefit from the same leniency that the african countries with the G20, according to several diplomatic sources interviewed by theAFP.
For this, the deputy prime minister Ricardo Cabrisas has written to the group of 14 creditor countries of Cuba, mostly from europe (France, Spain, Uk, Italy…) but that also includes Japan, Australia and Canada.
In this letter, “Cuba is calling for a moratorium for 2019, 2020 and 2021, in order to recommence to be paid in 2022,” said a diplomatic source, an information confirmed by two other diplomats.
Faced with a strengthening of us sanctions, the government had already requested a delay, until the end of may, to finally repay its maturities to 2019.
The agreement with the Paris Club is crucial to the island socialist: in 2015, it is with this instance that it had negotiated the restructuring of its debt owed to 14 countries, to erase 8,5 of $ 11.1 billion due.
The balance was to be converted into investment projects, to be phased until 2033 (Cuba should be reimbursed $ 82 million by 2019).
This was completed to put the country back on the rails, after erasing almost the total of his debt by China in 2011 ($6 billion), Mexico in 2013 ($500 million) and Russia in 2014 ($35 billion).
But the pandemic is blowing a wind of economic panic on the island.
Tourism brought $ 3.3 billion in 2018: but since march 24, no foreign visitor is not allowed.
A vacuum that threatens a third of the private entrepreneurs in Cuba (restaurants, rental of rooms etc.), or 200,000 workers, according to a study by the consulting firm Auge.
As for the “remesas” – money sent by Cubans abroad to their families in the country-estimated by the economist Carlos Mesa-Lago of $ 3.5 billion in 2017, they are a valuable support to the everyday life of many families.
“If the economic damage in Florida (where there is a large cuban community, editor’s note) are significant, then they will drop and this will have an impact on the lives of people”, warns the think-tank, Interamerican dialogue, fearing that “a humanitarian crisis”.