Cuba says unable to pay off debt commitments in 2019

AFP
Havana, Cuba Published: Dec 22, 2018, 11:33 AM(IST)

File photo. (Courtesy: Max Pixel) Photograph:( Others )

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'There will be a level of debt that we won't be able to pay next year and this will affect the performance of the economy,' said finance minister Alejandro Gil.

Cuba's government admitted on Friday that it won't be able to pay all its debt commitments in 2019, blaming Hurricane Irma and the United States sanctions for its woes.

"In 2019, we'll have less credit than the amount of debt we're planning to pay," said finance minister Alejandro Gil during a parliamentary session.

"There will be a level of debt that we won't be able to pay next year and this will affect the performance of the economy."

"There is a high level of debt in the economy that creates daily tensions."

"We've been looking for specific solutions but it's affecting the harmonious performance of the economy."

Gil insisted that Cuba's new loans would be marginally lower than the existing debts it will pay off, meaning that "we won't be increasing our level of debt."

Cuba recently defaulted on a part of its debt with Brazil and is behind in reimbursing another portion related to the construction of a port and purchase of food.

Havana blames these delays on the effects of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in early September 2017, and a hardening US embargo that hinders its international financial transactions.

Cuba's government has said the economy grew by 1.2 per cent in 2018.

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