Val is now confusing remittances with servicing Cuba's foreign debt ["Cuba Owes Billion," Dec. 4]. For his information, the money from remittances goes to Castro's victims and circulates among them before being ultimately absorbed by Castro, whereas the Cuban people derive no benefit from the loans themselves much less from repaying Castro's creditors. Remittances are a gift and loans are an obligation. The gift is for the moment and fulfills the needs of the moment. Loans contracted in their name are a financial yoke that will outlast the regime itself.
Communist Cuba reportedly owes $29.7 billion to the Paris Club, which constitutes the world's second-largest indebtedness to that financial entity. Unlike Indonesia, the biggest debtor at $36.2 billion, Cuba has no means to service its foreign debt and has been in effective default for 20 years. Val is right that this amount is only a fraction of Cuba's total debt and he is right again to fix the total at approximately $60 billion. He errs only in assuming that Obama will "bail out" Cuba. Although I do not doubt his disposition to do so, it would be impossible for him at this time, and his insistence upon it might derail his efforts to "normalize" relations with Cuba. More importantly, however, it is not necessary to "bail out" Cuba. The Castro regime is more than willing to renegotiate debts on paper which it never intends to discharge in order to be able to contract more uncollectable debts. It will enter into any agreement with the U.S., however disadvantageous to Cuba's future interests, in order to provide cover for Obama's "normalization" campaign.
I hope the debt remains unserviced so that one day a Free Cuba can repudiate it. A Fiscal Court should levy damages against all foreign creditors at least equal to the amount of their claims and wipe out all its debts. Not one cent should be paid to any government or entity private or public that ever provided a lifeline to Castro and thus extended the misery of the Cuban people. For example, Russia (successor state of the USSR) should be made to pay a compensation of $100 million dollars for each of the 20,000 Cubans killed in Angola. Spain and other contractors of slave labor in Cuba should be penalized for consorting with the Castro regime and violating the human rights of Cuban workers. Even the U.S. must be help financially accountable for casualties at the Bay of Pigs, the Kennedy-Khruschev Pact which established it as the guarantor of Communism in Cuba and the Coast Guard's predations on Cuban nationals on the high seas (for starters). When all is added up, Cuba may end up the biggest creditor nation in the world (everybody will owe us money).