That old embargo
Under the legislation, which is yet to be approved by the Senate, the Treasury Department will no longer demand that Havana pay cash in advance for agricultural goods purchased from US primary producers.
In other words, the Americans could soon be selling produce to Cuba on credit.
Those favouring the change believe that the lifting of the cash-for-goods rule will result in a huge increase in agricultural sales, which is good news for American farmers.
And they are right – after all, the US is already Cuba’s number one source for agricultural produce, including beans, corn and rice.
The only problem with this seemingly optimistic scenario is the fact that the Castro regime has a shocking record when it comes to paying its debts, almost always making late repayment or simply refusing to pay what it owes.
Perhaps the US lawmakers should have a chat to the Canadian multi-national Sherritt International, which has been dealing with Havana for decades.
According to this report, Sherritt officials have just confirmed that the cash-strapped Cuban government owes the Toronto-based minerals company about USD 393 million in (very late) repayments for oil and gas production and electric power.
But there is more: Cuba also owes about USD100 million to a second Canadian outfit, the Montreal-based corporation, Pebercan Inc.