Tag Archives: marc frank

Soviet rubles, Cuba’s debt, the Paris Club and simple math

Marc Frank, writing for Reuters, reports today that the Paris Club is looking to re-open negotiations with Cuba regarding its foreign debt, and mentions Cuba’s outstanding debt to Russia of 20 billion Soviet rubles as a stumbling block.

In 2001, when the Economist wrote about Cuba’s Soviet ruble debt, it pegged the value of that 20 billion debt at $690 million USD, while pointing out that in 1991, 20 billion rubles equaled $11.8 billion.  If you check the Russian ruble -> USD conversion rate today, you’ll find that a 20 billion Russian ruble debt is currently worth $662 million.  What will it be worth next year?  What was it worth in 1997? Continue reading

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How the blockade of Cuba really works

bodega-mediumThis is a translation that Machetera produced at the request of Cuba-L Analysis, of an article that clarifies some important issues in regard to the blockade of Cuba, which too often, people outside Cuba still call an embargo.  Calling it an embargo is a way of diminishing its seriousness, and in fact as Machetera has written here previously, there are people who delight in pointing out that if Cuba has U.S. (or for that matter, Argentinean) products on its store shelves, it’s not a serious embargo after all.  It’s an argument for shallow minds. Continue reading