Argentina has begun to ship cars -- made in U.S.-owned factories -- to Cuba under?
Argentina has begun to ship cars -- made in U.S.-owned factories -- to Cuba under a deal which demonstrates Latin America's determination to bring Cuba back into the fold.
More than 42,000 Chrysler, Ford and General Motors cars and lorries are to be shipped to Cuba from the Argentine in the next three years -- in direct opposition to the U.S. government's economic blockade of Dr. Fidel Castro.
The first load of cars -- several hundred of them -- were loaded aboard a hired Singapore vessel, the "Cilacs" last week, bound for Havana. The vehicles were to be used mainly as taxis.
Argentina is among five Latin American countries to have resumed relations with Havana, and has been among the strongest voices in the call for an easing of relations between the United States and Cuba.
Under an agreement approved by the late President Juan Peron, Argentina has granted Cuba credits totalling 1,200 million dollars U.S. (about 500 million sterling) to purchase industrial goods over the next six years.
Cuban repayments will reportedly be made in cash -- not in barter exchange -- and the bulk of the money is expected to come from increased revenue from sugar, which has soared in price in the past two years.
Cuba -- after years of isolation -- is expected to be represented at the next Latin American Foreign Ministers' conference to be held in Buenos Aires in March next year.