Britain's Hammond, Cuba's Castro agree on debt restructuring
April 30, 2016
Havana (AFP) - Visiting British Foreign Secretary Anthony Hammond
reached an agreement on restructuring Cuban debt payments in a meeting
with President Raul Castro, officials in Havana said.
The agreement deals with Cuba's mid and long-term debt with Britain,
according to a Cuban government statement.
The agreement "should contribute to the development of economic,
commercial and financial relations between the two nations," the
At the meeting, Castro and Hammond "verified the advances" in bilateral
relations and "the potentials" in areas of mutual interest.
Neither the British embassy in Havana nor Cuban officials gave a figure
for the debt, nor any further details on the agreement.
In December, Cuba reached an agreement with its creditors in the Paris
Club -- which include Britain, France, and Spain -- to pay $2.6 billion
in debt unpaid to foreign creditors for the last 25 years.
In exchange, the Paris Club is writing off the interest accumulated of
Hammond is the first British foreign secretary to visit Cuba since the
The visit also follows meetings in recent months between Castro and
other top officials and leaders from the European Union.
Castro met with French President Francois Hollande on a visit to Paris
In March, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini became
the highest-ranking EU official ever to visit Cuba when she travelled to
She signed a deal to normalize relations with Cuba, including an
agreement on human rights.
Cuba's leaders have rejected criticism of their human rights record by
the United States and Europe, warning that they will not tolerate
meddling in their country's internal affairs.
Britain was the second-biggest source of foreign tourists to Cuba last
year after Canada, with 160,000 Britons making the trip.
Hammond's visit comes one month after US President Barack Obama's
historic visit to the Caribbean nation, which is opening up to warmer
ties with its old Cold War rivals.
Although Havana and Washington restored diplomatic ties last year, the
US trade embargo on Cuba dating to the 1960s remains in place.
Source: Britain's Hammond, Cuba's Castro agree on debt restructuring -