China restructures Cuban debt, backs reform

HAVANA, (Reuters) – China restructured billions in  Cuba debt over the last six months and agreed to provide new  credit in a clear show of support for President Raul Castro’s  efforts to reform the economy, Asian diplomats said this week. The two Communist-run countries signed an agreement over  the summer restructuring the government debt, and last weekend  restructured the commercial debt, with principal in both cases  not coming due until after 2015 and on easy terms, the  diplomats said, without providing further details.

The figures have not been made public, but Cuba’s official  and commercial debt to China could be as high as $4 billion,  according to government insiders.

As part of this month’s accord, China will continue to  provide trade cover and both parties agreed to use an already  existing development credit to modernize the port of Santiago  de Cuba, 800 miles (1287 km) east of Havana, the diplomats  said.

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