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Jul 11, 2014 11:00AM ET / Business
Putin Writes Off $32 Billion of Cuba's Debts to Russia


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http://www.thewire.com/business/2014/07/...bt/374284/

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently on a grand tour of Latin America. His first stop is in Havana, Cuba. Ahead of arriving in Cuba, Putin decided to bestow a gift upon the Cuban government. With one swift signature, he eliminated $32 billion of Cuba's debt, left over from the Soviet era.

Cuba isn't completely off the hook. They will be required to pay back just $3.2 billion over the next ten years, a 90 percent decrease from what they previously owed. The first payment is due in October, and will be made from the National Bank of Cuba to the Russian lender Vnesheconombank.

Cuba has been working to restructure its debt over the last few years. In 2011, Cuba was able to restructure a $6 billion debt with China. Other nations have also forgiven their debt. In 2012, Japan forgave $1.4 billion and more recently, Mexico forgave $478 million in debt.

While it may be nice to think Putin was simply showing a kind gesture to the Cuban government in forgiving this debt, it may be motivated by oil. Right now, the Cuban state oil company CUPET and Russia's Rosneft are in negotiations for a very lucrative deal. Russia and Cuba are close allies. Last year, trade between the two countries totaled about $200 million.

Cuba has oil reserves of between 4 billion and 20 billion barrels, though likely in the area of 9 billion barrels. With the oil price at $110 per barrel, this deal could bring around $900 billion. This is comparable to the deal Rosneft currently has with Exxon Mobil in the Arctic. As Russia stands to earn $900 billion (perhaps more) from Cuba in oil, forgiving a $32 billion debt may be worth it to push contract negotiations in Russia's favor.

Of course, perhaps it has nothing to do with oil at all, and Putin was just in a rare good mood that day.
^^^ Nice. Was about to post about this...
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12 July 2014, 02:53

Putin promises to support Cuba against US blockade


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© Photo: RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will help Cuba to overcome the illegal blockade imposed on it by the United States. This he said after a meeting with the President of the Council of State of Cuba Raul Castro. Also, Vladimir Putin said that Russia is interested in placing GLONASS system in Cuba.

"Russia is interested in placing GLONASS ground stations in Cuba. And in this case, the Cuban side will have access to services and satellite communications technologies in the area of the station," said the President after talks with the chairman of the State Council of Cuba Raul Castro.

According to RIA Novosti, the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the space sector was signed in February 2013. It is expected that it will come into force shortly. Thus, there will be legal basis for the work on the creation of GLONASS ground stations in Cuba.


Also Vladimir Putin said to reporters after a meeting with the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba and of the Council of State of Cuba Raul Castro that Construction cost of four units for thermal electric power station built by Russia "Maxime Gomez" and "East of Havana" will amount to 1.2 billion Euros.

""Inter RAO" Company " intends to build four thermal generating units for power plant "Maxime Gomez" and "East of Havana" total cost of 1.2 billion Euros," - said the president. Following the talks, in the presence of Putin and Castro "Inter RAO - Export" and Union Electrica signed a memorandum of understanding on the signing of the contract for construction in Cuba four units with a capacity of 200 megawatts.

Putin lays wreath to Jose Marti monument within framework of his visit to Cuba

Russian President Vladimir Putin who is paying a working visit to Cuba laid a wreath to the monument to Cuba's national hero Jose Marti on Havana's Revolution Square on Friday. This is a traditional protocol event for the leaders of foreign countries who visit Cuba. The memorial is located on Revolution Square, which is the venue for major national events of the Cuban people. It is surrounded by the buildings of the Ministries of Revolutionary Armed Forces; Communications and Internal Affairs; the Jose Marti National Library and the National Theatre.

The Palace of the Revolution is the central building on the square. It is the seat of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party; the State Council (parliament) and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba.

After the wreath-laying ceremony, Putin visited the Jose Marti museum and left a note in the Book of Honorary Guests.

After that, the Russian head of state headed for negotiations with Raul Castro, chairman of the Cuban State Council and the Council of Ministers.

Putin meets Cuba's Comandante Fidel Castro

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Cuban President Fidel Castro held an hour-long meeting on Friday. The two men exchanged views on international affairs and global economy and discussed in detail bilateral relations between Russia and Cuba, reports Itar-Tass.

Vladimir Putin says Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and he discussed international and bilateral issues and the situation on currency markets at a meeting on Friday. At the start of Putin's meeting with Cuban Council of State and Council of Ministers President Raul Castro later in the day, the latter asked the Russian president how his meeting with Fidel Castro had passed.

"I know you had a long meeting with Fidel today," Raul Castro said addressing Putin. The Russian president replied, "Yes, we had a very interesting and long conversation. We touched on international issues and bilateral problems, the situation on currency markets, and the development of the agricultural sector." Putin said he was absolutely satisfied with the meeting. Raul Castro asked him, "Fidel still talks a lot, doesn't he?" Putin replied that the conversation was good and lengthy.

At the start of the negotiations, Raul Castro dwelled on women's involvement in government affairs, saying that "women in Cuba are more responsible than men. This is African heritage, as men hunted and women dealt with home there." Raul Castro also noted that the birth rate in Cuba is very low, with families having only one child as a rule, and that this problem cannot be resolved quickly.

Then the Cuban leader asked Cuban and Russian government ministers attending the meeting whether they had the chance to work well in the morning. "When ministers work well, it is easier for us, presidents, and when not, they make us work more," he said addressing Putin. After that, the meeting proceeded without members of the press.

Putin writes off 90 percent of Cuba's debts to USSR

President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed a law, in which 90 percent of the debt of the Republic of Cuba to the Soviet Union will be written off, the press service of the Kremlin reports. Earlier, the law was passed by the State Duma and approved by the Federation Council. Cuba will pay the remaining part of the debt (about $3.5 billion) over the next 10 years in equal semi-annual payments.

The first payment must be received on October 25, this year, and the last - on April 25, 2024. Payments will be entered in the dollar account of Vnesheconombank in the National Bank of Cuba.

It is supposed that these funds will be used to finance investment projects in Cuba. Earlier, Zarubezhneft and Inter RAO UES showed interest in these projects.
The Cuban debt includes project covenants that were funded from the state loans of the former USSR, and also interest from the principal debt, accumulated during the period of the loan.


President Putin begins Latin American tour with visit to Cuba

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin starts his six-day tour of Latin America with a visit to Cuba. The parties intend to sign a number of agreements, including a document concerning works on the shelf, which will be signed by Rosneft, Zarubezhneft and CUPET.

In particular, on July 11, the Russian head of state will hold talks with Chairman of the State Council and Council of Ministers Raul Castro and meet with the leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro. The meeting with the leader of the Cuban revolution, who has turned 87, will be informal, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on the eve of the visit.

After Cuba, Putin will arrive in Argentina, where he will hold talks with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Then, on July 13, the Russian leader will go to Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro he will visit the final match of the FIFA World Cup and, probably, meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Then, the President will travel to Brasilia, where his talks with President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff are scheduled. The main event of the visit to Latin America will be participation in the summit of the BRICS, which will be held in two cities - Fortaleza and Brasilia.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_07_12...kade-8396/
The bottom-line is: Is Cuba a good long-term investment???!!! Cuba still has a a Communist economy, moving glacially to a market one with their most senior leaders in their 80s????!!!....I say the answer is no???!!!
Geo-politcally, most definitely.
2 July 2014, 06:18

Putin makes unplanned visit to Nicaragua

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has changed the schedule of his Latin American tour and arrived in Nicaragua for a brief working visit. On his way from Cuba to Argentina on Saturday, the Russian leader decided to make a stopover in Managua, where he had been officially invited earlier. At the Managua airport, he was welcomed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

"Much is yet to be done to develop our relations, especially in the area of economy, but we have good base for that," Putin said, adding that Russia and Nicaragua had long-standing good relations. "We admire out personal courage and the courage of your people," he told Ortega. The Russian leader reminded that the year 2014 is a jubilee one for Russia and Nicaragua, which established diplomatic relations 70 years ago.

The Nicaraguan leader called Putin’s visit to his country a historic event. "This is the first-ever visit by the Russian president to Nicaragua, and we are very happy to welcome you here," he said.

Ortega reassured Putin that Nicaragua supported Russia's peace efforts. "We are ready to take part in Russia’s initiatives in maintaining peace in the entire planet and in its regions," he said. "Conflict settlement lies not in bombing but in reasonable approaches. The most vital thing is to lend an ear to the will of the people."

The Russian delegation to the talks included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov, and CEO of Russia’s oil major Rosneft, Igor Sechin.

Nicaragua's delegation included Nicaraguan president's envoy for trade-and economic and investment cooperation with Russia Laureano Ortega, Deputy Foreign Minister Valdrak
Jaentschek, who is a co-chairman of the Russian-Nicaraguan intergovernmental commission on economic and research-technical cooperation, Commander-in-Cgief of the Nicaraguan Army Julio Cesar Aviles, and President of the energy company Enatrel Salvador Mansell.

Russia ready to collaborate with all Latin American countries - Putin

President Vladimir Putin Russia is interested in strong, economically stable and politically independent, united Latin America that is becoming an important part of the emerging polycentric world order, informs ITAR-TASS. "In this region, the traditions of love of freedom and respect for other nations and cultures are strong, and there are practically no serious intergovernmental conflicts or the wish to pursue the divide and rule policy.

On the contrary, nations in the region are ready for joint action to protect their shared Latin American home,” Putin said in an exclusive interview to the Latin American news agency Prensa Latina ahead of his South American tour, during which he will visit Cuba, Argentina and Brazil.

He believes that "integration processes in Latin America reflect to a large extent the worldwide regional integration tendencies and indicate the pursuit of political consolidation in the region and reinforcement of its influence on global affairs."

Putin highlighted the role of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). "It is meant as a union of all the countries on the continent, and its aim is to become a major forum for dealing with regional issues without the participation and obtrusive interference of external forces. We welcome the CELAC's readiness to establish connections outside the region, including with Russia," he said.

Putin said that the establishment of contacts between CELAC and the countries taking part in the Customs Union and Common Economic Space would open up many new opportunities. "Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are deepening the integration process. In May, we signed the Agreement on Establishing the Eurasian Economic Union, which will come into force on January 1, 2015," he said.

In his opinion, this will create one of the world’s biggest common markets with a population of almost 170 million and free movement of capital, goods, services, and labor. This market operates on the basis of universal principles and WTO norms and rules. "This will make it a lot easier to do business in the Eurasian region and broaden opportunities for developing mutually advantageous business contacts with foreign partners," he said.

He reaffirmed that Russia is open to substantive interaction with all integration formations in the Latin American region. That includes the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the Pacific Alliance, the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

"It is vital that all these associations, as they develop their external relations, should work towards the unity of Latin American countries, and not for their separation, both politically and ideologically. We hope that consolidation of multilateral cooperation will be an additional factor in the successful development of our bilateral relations with Latin American partners," Putin said.

...

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_07_12...agua-2461/
(07-12-2014 04:31 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]Geo-politcally, most definitely.
Geo-politically yes....90 Cuba being 90+ miles from the tip of the Key West, FL, USA...The Monroe Doctrine would probably not be applied if the Russians go for the oil only, though expect public apprehension of oil-leak disasters and, possibly, covert apprehension on those who control the oil??!!!!
(07-12-2014 04:52 PM)ba_dass Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 04:31 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]Geo-politcally, most definitely.
Geo-politically yes....90 Cuba being 90+ miles from the tip of the Key West, FL, USA...The Monroe Doctrine would probably not be applied if the Russians go for the oil only, though expect public apprehension of oil-leak disasters and, possibly, covert apprehension on those who control the oil??!!!!

It goes beyond Cuba, I would say. A Latin America that is predominately pro-Russia/China wouldn't be good for the U.S. globalists, whereas this seems to be the direction that the region is going...
(07-12-2014 05:00 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 04:52 PM)ba_dass Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 04:31 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]Geo-politcally, most definitely.
Geo-politically yes....90 Cuba being 90+ miles from the tip of the Key West, FL, USA...The Monroe Doctrine would probably not be applied if the Russians go for the oil only, though expect public apprehension of oil-leak disasters and, possibly, covert apprehension on those who control the oil??!!!!

It goes beyond Cuba, I would say. A Latin America that is predominately pro-Russia/China wouldn't be good for the U.S. globalists, whereas this seems to be the direction that the region is going...
I was thinking along those lines...Putin is like a 2nd-term US President who decides to concentrate on foreign policy, to cement his legacy; except that Putin has a more time...and he's decided to use that time to see if he can make a mark on the Western Southern hemisphere. I wish him luck since everybody (apart from the banana magnates and those who make money opossing Communism in South America) have had success in that region. In retrosepct Putin doesn't have too many places to adventure, Europe and Eastern Europe after years of what Stalin did (i.e. the many errors that Russia committed according to the Lady of Fatima) won't buy what Putin is selling...where else can Putin go? Well regions that didn't have years of of Soviet "cooperation"???!!! Half-seriously, Putin will make a play for Antarctica and its riches????!!!
(07-12-2014 05:32 PM)ba_dass Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 05:00 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 04:52 PM)ba_dass Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-12-2014 04:31 PM)BRIC Countries Wrote: [ -> ]Geo-politcally, most definitely.
Geo-politically yes....90 Cuba being 90+ miles from the tip of the Key West, FL, USA...The Monroe Doctrine would probably not be applied if the Russians go for the oil only, though expect public apprehension of oil-leak disasters and, possibly, covert apprehension on those who control the oil??!!!!

It goes beyond Cuba, I would say. A Latin America that is predominately pro-Russia/China wouldn't be good for the U.S. globalists, whereas this seems to be the direction that the region is going...
I was thinking along those lines...Putin is like a 2nd-term US President who decides to concentrate on foreign policy, to cement his legacy; except that Putin has a more time...and he's decided to use that time to see if he can make a mark on the Western Southern hemisphere. I wish him luck since everybody (apart from the banana magnates and those who make money opossing Communism in South America) have had success in that region. In retrosepct Putin doesn't have too many places to adventure, Europe and Eastern Europe after years of what Stalin did (i.e. the many errors that Russia committed according to the Lady of Fatima) won't buy what Putin is selling...where else can Putin go? Well regions that didn't have years of of Soviet "cooperation"???!!! Half-seriously, Putin will make a play for Antarctica and its riches????!!!

I think Russia's focus, at this point, is on expanding its trade and political relations with Asia and the South, rather than Europe, which is a small fraction of the overall population of the world. And while Eastern Europe is decidedly anti Russian, the Western region is more of a mixed bag, and, at the rate things are going, what with nationalist sentiment steadily increasing throughout the region, could at some point become politically "pro Russian".

At it stands, Western Europe's economic ties with Russia isn't reflected in the negative talk directed at Russian leaders by the EU and Western European politicians, per the Ukraine debacle. All this anti Russian posturing would likely end if the Western European nationalist parties took power, an outcome that seems increasingly possible.
what used to take years to achieve is now just taking months. the world is moving so fast.

Putin is an enlightened leader. Sure there may be partial ulterior motives, but bottom line is that he gave the Cubans a debt jubilee.
http://rt.com/news/172360-putin-argentina-visit-rt/

Putin: RT Spanish to be broadcast in Argentina 24/7

Published time: July 12, 2014 19:01
Edited time: July 12, 2014 20:59 Get short URL

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Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner ® shakes hands with her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires July 12, 2014. (Reuters / Enrique Marcarian)

RT Spanish will start broadcasting 24/7 in Argentina, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a stop in Buenos Aires as part of his Latin American tour. RT has become the first foreign channel that will broadcast alongside Argentinian state channels.

"We are grateful to the Argentinian side for the opportunity to broadcast RT TV channel,” Putin said at a media conference in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires in the framework of his Latin American tour.

"We will be developing cooperation in the sphere of information. This is the aim of the agreement on cooperation in the field of mass communications. It will help the leading news agencies of Russia and Argentina expand contacts and promptly exchange information,” the Russian president said following talks with Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

For the first time in Argentina, RT Spanish will be available 24/7 via a separate “button” alongside state channels, said Putin.The agreement in the mass communications sphere comes into effect on Saturday.

Russian President met with his Argentine counterpart during his official tour of Latin America following his first stop at Cuba’s Havana.

Following the meeting, Kirchner stressed that the two countries share approaches to the policies of double standards espoused by certain forces in the international arena. Kirchner said she believes there should be “multi-sided, multipolar relations, as there is a need for countries of the world to drop double standards and to arrive at a solution that would be fair.”

Putin believes that Russian companies will take an active part in the modernizing of Argentinian electric power stations, as well as in building new power plants.

He added that Russia’s Inter RAO group is planning to help in the construction of Chihuido-1 hydropower plant on the Neuquen River – a project worth US$2 billion. Another Russian company – Silovye Mashiny (Power Machinery) – is supplying hydrogenerator equipment for the Punta Negra hydropwer plant, Putin said.

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General view as Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner meets her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires July 12, 2014. (Reuters / Enrique Marcarian)

Rosatom corporation is also ready to participate in the construction of new blocs for Atucha nuclear power plant in Buenos Aires province, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said earlier.

“As for the construction of the fourth and fifth blocs of the atomic electric station, Rosatom is currently actively working here. A technical commercial offer has already been handed over to [Argentinian] colleagues,” Novak said.

Speaking on the results of the talks, Putin said the two nations are also planning to strengthen cooperation in other hi-tech fields, including space. In particular, Russia expects Argentina to allow on its territory the installment of ground-based stations for Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).

As for military-technological ties, the two presidents discussed the shipment of Russian helicopters and military cargo aircraft to the Latin American country for joint work in Antarctica.

“Despite complicated processes in the world economy, we’ve managed to maintain a positive trend in goods turnover. Last year it increased by over 16 percent,” the Russian president said.

Special attention will be paid to the development of cultural relations, Putin told reporters.

The Russian president has called for holding the Russia-Argentina Bilateral Culture Year in 2015, as the two countries will also mark the 130th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.

“This is a landmark event," Putin said, adding that it would bring the people of both countries closer, proving the depth of relations in culture and international affairs.

"Russia and Argentina are bound together by more than a century-long history of close ties and strong mutual attraction. They say that there is some Russian blood in every sixth Argentinean. Many people from our country found their second home in Argentina," Putin said in an exclusive interview to Latin American news agency Prensa Latina ahead of his South American tour.
I love putin, I wish he was my leader.
Putin will save global christendom. he has vowed to protect Christians worldwide. Not sure if protestants count though.
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