Wednesday, February 04, 2004

And speaking of deadbeats

Cuba's debt to Venezuela soars as oil keeps flowing
CARACAS - With little fanfare, Venezuela's left-leaning President Hugo Chávez has become Cuba's biggest financial supporter since the Soviet Union pulled the plug on its subsidies more than a decade ago.

Over the past three years, Cuba has run up a massive debt of $752 million for oil shipped by Venezuela's state oil company, according to people close to the company and internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Though Venezuelan officials deny that Cuba is falling behind, people familiar with the debt say it is piling up and that the government has made little effort to collect.
That's OK, Fidel is paying it off in thugs. But here's an upbeat note about Cuba:
Its biggest source of dollars is the Cubans who live abroad, most of them in the United States. In 2002, Cubans abroad sent an estimated $1.1 billion to Cuba in remittances, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank.
We ought to count up how many countries are being supported by "remittances" from the USA.