Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Fresh from visiting Washington for the G20 economic summit, the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is arriving in Cuba today on what will be his second visit to Fidel Castro’s island paradise since 2004.

The visit is seen by analysts as part of the China’s relentless push to strengthen business relations with Latin American countries, especially those that welcome Chinese investment (and exports) with open arms, such as Cuba.

In fact, those crafty Chinese have now become Cuba’s second largest trading partner – after Venezuela – selling Havana everything from buses and locomotives to light bulbs.

Last time the Chinese leader visited Havana he was met by Castro I, who was very much in control back then – and who was deeply suspicious of China’s seemingly insatiable apetite for all things capitalist.

Whether Hu gets to meet the 82-year-old semi-retired dictator during this week’s visit remains to be seen.


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