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Cuba offers to pay off Czech debt with rum

December 16, 2016

Cuba has offered to pay back its debts to the Czech Republic with its famous rum. At the current rate of consumption, Czechs would have enough rum for more than a century.

Kuba Rum 'Habana Club'
Image: Getty Images/AFP/Y. Lage

Cuba has offered to repay the Czech Republic for its Cold War debts with one of its specialties: several brands of rum.

Czech Deputy Finance Minister Lenka Dupakova said repaying the debt with rum was "an interesting option."

"These are relatively unknown brands which might be good, but we would have to advertise them and generally launch them into the market," Dupakova told Czech daily newspaper "Dnes."

The people of the Czech Republic enjoy alcohol, consuming the most beer per capita in the world and it imported 892 tons of Cuban rum worth 53 million koruna ($2.05 million, 1.96 million euros) in 2015. The Czech Finance Ministry has yet to make a final sum of debts, but ministry spokesman Michal Zurovec said Cuba proposed to pay back $276 million to the Czech Republic from the time both countries were under Communist rule.

Zurovec did, however, add that the Czech Republic would prefer the debt be paid at least partially in cash. If the entire debt were paid fully in rum, the supply would last well over a century according to current Czech consumption rates.

Cuba is not the first to offer to repay its debt to the Czech Republic in goods instead of cash. North Korea offered to repay its $10 million debt with products made with ginseng in 2010.

kbd/sms (AFP, AP)