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Cuba proposes to pay back Czech debt with rum

Published:Thursday | December 15, 2016 | 11:48 AM
Soldiers line up (background left) around the grave site where the ashes of Fidel Castro were laid to rest at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago, Cuba on Decembr 4.

The Czech Finance Ministry says Cuba has offered an unusual way of repaying its Cold War-era debt — its trademark rum.

Finance Ministry spokesman Michal Zurovec said Thursday that Cuban authorities have proposed to pay back $276 million to the Czech Republic from the time both countries were part of the communist bloc.

If that proposal becomes reality, the Czech would have enough Cuban rum for well over a century. According to the Czech Statistics Office, the Czechs imported rum from Cuba worth over $2 million last year.

Zurovec says that the Czechs would still prefer the debt was at least partly paid in cash.

In the past, North Korea wanted to repay its $10 million debt with products made with ginseng.