Castro: Frozen assets to be released this year
Cuba will free the remainder of hard-currency assets owned by foreign
companies that have been held back in national bank accounts
since 2008, President Raúl Castro said in his closing speech after the
National Assembly's summer session.
A partial restructuring of foreign debt with Cuba's main lenders has
helped "reduce hold-backs of transfers abroad and put us in conditions
to approve that they will be lifted for good before the current year
ends," Castro said, adding that a "tense situation" continues to affect
the country's external finances. " We will persist in gradually
recovering the international credibility of the Cuban economy."
Cuba has not published comprehensive data about its foreign debt since 2007.
Hit by extensive hurricane damage, higher oil and food prices, and
dropping tourism, nickel and sugar revenues in 2008, the government
faced a cash crunch that has been gradually improving over the past two
years, as Cuba cut back spending and imports, and exports have been rising.