Cash-Strapped Cuba Makes Debt Payment to Major Creditors

Cuba paid the second installment on a renegotiated $2.6 billion in debt to 14 wealthy creditor nations this week, diplomats from a number of the countries said, as some creditors prepare to swap debt for an equity stake in local development projects, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the payment showed the importance Cuba attaches to an agreement it reached in 2015 with the Paris Club group of major creditor nations. An economic crisis in ally Venezuela, a drop in export earnings and damage from Hurricane Irma have all taken a recent toll on the Communist-run island, which is short on cash and has no access to most multilateral lending institutions. The Paris Club agreement forgave $8.5 billion of $11.1 billion in official debt Cuba had defaulted on through 1986, plus charges. Repayment of the remaining debt was back-loaded through 2033, with around $40 million paid last year and nearly $60 million due by Oct. 31. Read more. (Subscription required.)