Argentine President Alberto Fernández plans to travel to Cuba in mid-September, where one of the topics for discussion will be the debt Cuba has owed Argentina for the last five decades, local media reported on Saturday. According to a report by The Economist, Fernández will also attend the G-77+ China Summit in Havana, which will begin on September 15.
During his visit, he is expected to meet with the head of the Cuban regime, Miguel Diaz-Canel, to discuss the $4.805 million debt Cuba incurred with Argentina in 1973 during the Juan Domingo Perón government. This debt arose from financing the sale of various pieces of equipment, such as tractors, agricultural machinery, and automobiles.
Argentina has made several unsuccessful attempts to collect this debt from Cuba. In January 2020, during the CELAC summit in Mexico, Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá reminded his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodrguez Parrilla, that Cuba owed Argentina $2.7 billion at the time. However, the matter could not be resolved and was postponed due to the pandemic, although virtual contacts were maintained.
Representatives of the Cuban regime recently met with representatives of the Paris Club in Havana, since this institution has managed Cuba’s debts to 14 countries and has facilitated their renegotiations in the past. In 2015, an $8.5 billion reduction of the $11.1 billion owed was agreed upon. Additionally, in 2020, the Cuban regime requested a two-year moratorium and waiver of penalties for late payments due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Reuters agency.
The State Department stressed that the presence of this Latin American leader at the event, attended by most of the developing countries of the South, is an honor and will strengthen the summit.
In addition, the participation of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, was confirmed at the summit.