Dime con quien andas
You may recall that the large Canadian conglomerate and one of its partners, Pebercan, announced over the weekend that the Castro regime was "revoking" a 16-year-old petrol production agreement with the companies. No explanation was given for the unexpected decision to break a contract that had another 10 years or so to run.
However, the Cubans did promise to pay the Canadian companies USD140 million in compensation for breaking the contract.
So, it’s all OK, right? Well, no. It’s now come to light that the severing of ties followed months of efforts by Pebercan to have the Cubans “catch up on missed payments”, which are apparently worth more than US118 million.
But there is more.
The chief executive of Sherritt, Ian Delaney, has confirmed to Canadian media that Sherritt has also faced “missed payments” from the Cubans. In fact, they are owed nearly US400 million, which is a lot of money in anyone’s language – and especially so if you are a Sherritt shareholder.
Not that Mr Delaney is worried, mind you.
"Like every developing country in the world, particularly one with the enormous social objectives of Cuba, they never have enough money, so we're always depending on the cycle,” he told the media. “We're always running big receivables with these people.”
He said he’d been working with the Castro regime for 18 years and would use those “ high-level relationships” to find a “solution” to the scrapped production-sharing agreement, adding: "This is a country that has always been very good to us.”
Wish him luck. Or perhaps not.