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Cuba unable to pay foreign debt
[September 29, 2008]

Cuba unable to pay foreign debt

(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Havana, Sep 29 (EFE).- Cuba can't pay its foreign debt because of the damage done by the 46-year-old U.S. economic embargo, the island's communist government said Friday on an official Web site.

The embargo keeps Cuba from "receiving sizeable revenues from exports of goods and services," said the article published on the Web site Cubadebate.

According to the National Statistics Office, Cuba had in 2006, the last year for which official data are available, a foreign debt of $7.79 billion.

"Up to December 2007, according to conservative estimates, the criminal siege led by Washington has caused economic damage to the Cuban state worth more than $93 billion, some 12 times the amount of the foreign debt," the article said.

The article, signed by journalist Patricio Montesinos, was sent by e-mail to foreign correspondents accredited in Havana.

After the devastation of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which caused losses of more than $5 million, the government of Gen. Raul Castro has talked of the need to review Cuba's economic priorities, but up to now the official media have not spoken of suspending payment of the foreign debt.

"The economic, trade and financial war pursued by the United States is aimed at despoiling Cuba of its income from exports of goods and services, blocking access to sources of financing, as well as causing an increase in its expenditures," Montesinos said. EFE


Copyright ? 2008 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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