Come on, Canucks, Cuba needs your CASH!!

Via Yahoo News:

TORONTO (CP) – Bay Street has received a “Welcome to Cuba” invitation from the communist island’s foreign minister, who says the country needs Canadian capital, particularly in the tourism industry.

Felipe Perez Roque told an Economic Club of Toronto luncheon Thursday that 600,000 Canadians will visit the largest Caribbean island this year, a number that is increasing by 20 per cent annually, out of a total tourist trade of 2.3 million visitors.

But while there has been investment by some Canadian resource companies – notably Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S – news), a miner, energy producer and utility operator, as well as offshore oil explorer Pebercan Inc. (TSX:PBC – news) – Canadian corporations are “absent” from the development of Cuban tourist facilities.

The country is adding 3,000 to 5,000 hotel rooms a year “and it is, I think, a sector of our economy in which Canadian companies are not working today.”

The Cuban economy, after shrinking 35 per cent in four years during the early ’90s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been growing at about 4.5 per cent annually in recent years, and the government hopes for expansion of seven to eight per cent this year, Perez Roque said.

If the United States were to end the diplomatic, trade and investment embargo it imposed after Fidel Castro took power in 1959, growth would spurt to above 10 per cent annually for a decade, he told about 50 people at the Albany Club, a Conservative bastion co-founded in 1882 by John A. Macdonald.

“If not, we will continue to develop our country.”

He estimated that the U.S. embargo costs Cuba’s economy $3 billion a year, and this “serious obstacle” is aggravated by Cuba’s limited access to international credit.

He said after his speech that Cuba, with its well educated population, needs capital, not Canadian services, and it offers the possibility of a tax holiday until investments break even, with a 30 per cent capital gains tax as money is repatriated to Canada.

As to Cuba’s treatment of dissidents – which Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew told Perez Roque this week is a “preoccupation” in Ottawa – the Cuban minister said the 75 people most prominently at issue had received trials and been found guilty of working for a foreign power.

“We have a right to defend ourselves against this foreign aggression.”

The major human-rights violations in Cuba, Perez Roque added, are at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, where hundreds of people remain imprisoned without trial on suspicion of terrorist links.

“We think it is possible for all countries to improve their situation, but we feel really that there is no massive violation of human rights in Cuba,” despite near-wartime stresses created by American hostility.

That small bolded passage is the reason for maintaining the embargo folks. Allowing castro to join the Wolrd Bank would mean that he would have access to BILLIONS with a small deposit of a couple hundred thousand or so.

Of course, this article doesnt mention the hundreds of corporations the castro’s government has stiffed to the tune of close to $14 Billion.

Hat tip: Kathleen

5 thoughts on “Come on, Canucks, Cuba needs your CASH!!”

  1. Eeeeeuuuuwwww!!!!!

    Does it ever occur to anyone that the reason CUba has limited access to credit is that it ran out on its tab? That it doesn’t believe in paying its bills? That it thinks paying bills is capitalist or something? The reason it can’t get credit is that no one will lend to them. Well, why not?

  2. That smarmy little bastard sickens me. Perez Roque is the leader of the new generation of tyrant coddlers. It is ironic that a country that boasts so many “achievements” is passing the hat. It is a tragedy that free countries are willing to pay up. If Canada were really that preoccupied with human rights violations, it would send that little prick back to the tropical hellhole that his patron’s megalomania has created.

  3. That has to be a matter of Canadian corruption at work – what else would prompt a sane individual to trust castro and invest in Cuba?

Comments are closed.