Cuba to Repay Debt to Czech Republic in Rum

The island nation will pay off 7 billion crowns of Soviet-era debt to the Czech Republic in the form of alcohol and (possibly) medication

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 16.12.2016 13:29:22 (updated on 16.12.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

There’s an outstanding debt on the books between Cuba and the Czech Republic that dates back to the Soviet socialist era, with the island nation on a 7 billion crown tab, reports

One problem: Cuba doesn’t have the cash to repay what it owes.

Instead, an interesting agreement has been reached with the Ministry of Finance: the country will pay back the Czech Republic with goods in lieu of money, which include sweet Cuban rum and (possibly) prescription drugs.

Details of what rum might make it to the Czech Republic were not revealed, but it was referred to as “a relatively unknown brand that might be good” by Deputy Finance Minister Lenka Dupáková.

The prescription medication is another interesting offer, though it doesn’t have EU certification; their transfer would need to be approved by the Czech State Office for Drug Control, and certified for use within the Czech Republic.

According to the Deputy Finance Minister, marketing the rum on the Czech market would be an easier feat.

Currently, Cuban rum doesn’t have an especially large presence in the Czech Republic; last year, a total amount of rum valued at 53 million crowns was imported, according to the Czech statistical office. 

News of the unusual repayment has made its way to foreign press such as the BBC and The Telegraph.

Czech officials are advised not to mix alcohol and prescription medication. 


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