The more things change ...
As we have reported previously, the boys in Havana are so strapped for cash they have informed the Chinese they will need to “renegotiate” terms and conditions, which Beijing has reluctantly done.
Now, the Cubans have sent the same message to the Japanese. And the Germans. And the French ...
According to this Reuters report, Cuba is blaming the recent hurricanes and the global financial crisis for the fact it’s unable to meet its repayment.
Which is crap, of course.
Yes, the hurricanes did cause enormous damage and the financial turmoil that has engulfed much of the world in the past few months has resulted in lower prices for Cuban nickel and fewer tourists visiting the island.
But the fact is that the Castro brothers have been refusing to pay their huge (and mounting) debt to Western nations for decades – just as they unilaterally wiped off the books the billions of dollars they owed to the now disappeared Soviet Union.
Western business sources in Havana told Reuters that payments had slowed from Cuban banks, with cash transfers that usually took 48 hours now sometimes put off for weeks.
"It appears they do not have the cash on hand so they delay and then pay you and delay payment to someone else," one unidentified businessman said.