How to Pay Off $276M Debt? Cuba Gets Creative

Havana wants to offer bottles of rum that would keep Czech Republic liquored up for more than 100 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2016 9:00 AM CST
Cuba's Plan to Pay Off $276M Czech Debt: Lots of Rum
It's going to take a lot of rum.   (Getty Images)

Who says arguments can't be settled and accounts squared over a good bottle of booze—or many of them. Cuba is apparently considering that route in taking care of the $276 million it owes the Czech Republic, with the BBC reporting the proposed volume of rum would last the European country more than 100 years. The AP cites the Czech Statistics Office in reporting the country imported more than $2 million of rum from Cuba in 2015. (At Forbes, a Czech Republic-based writer explains why he thinks that century-long-supply claim is overblown.)

The scheme would pay back money Havana borrowed from the former Czechoslovakia (a fellow Communist country) during Cold War times, but the Czechs say they'd like at least a partial cash payment. Restitution via pharmacy drugs was also on the table, but there's likely too much EU regulatory red tape to break through for that kind of compensation. (More Cuba stories.)

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