Old habits are hard to give up. On April 29, the Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS issued a press release. After negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, Moscow announced its desire to invest in Cuba. These two countries intend to resolve the issue of debt, which has long been causing tension and complicating relations between them. For 30 years before its collapse, the Soviet Union supplied oil to Cuba at prices lower than those on the world market, and did not always require full and immediate payment. In response, Cuba sent most of its sugar to the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA), but the cost of exported sugar was much lower than the cost of imported oil. Over time, Cuba’s debt amounted to approximately $ 35 billion.
The Russian rulers, left alone in European diplomatic circles after their annexation of Crimea, decided that they needed friends in the world. Cuba was included in their number, and everything is now happening as if the Cold War had not ended. Therefore, as a result of recent negotiations, Russia wrote off 90% of its 35 billion debt to Cuba. This may seem like a radical measure, but not everything is lost. Both governments, with the participation, of course, of selected friends and minions, can now jointly profit from the remaining amount of $ 3.5 billion. ITAR-TASS in its press release quotes Lavrov that the indicated $ 3.5 billion will be turned into an “investment”. “We are interested in making these investments as effective as possible,” Lavrov emphasized.
In the course of the geopolitical struggle between capitalism and communism in the 20th century, Cuba was of great importance, completely out of proportion to its size. When Fidel Castro overthrew Batista’s dictatorship in 1959, many outside observers expected his government to be quickly replaced by another, more friendly to American interests. However, Cuba adopted the communist model developed by Che Guevara, a theoretician of the revolution, and received such massive assistance from the Soviet Union that the new regime was able to strengthen its position. Castro, who was 32 years old at the time of the seizure of power in Cuba, is now over 80 years old and it is unlikely that he will live long. However, the regime itself continues to exist.