PRAGUE, Czech Republic — 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.
A giant inflatable bottle advertising Havana Club, a brand of Cuban rum, stands on Havana's seafront boulevard "El Malecon" August 31, 2009. The brand is not sold in the U.S. (Photo: Reuters/Desmond Boylan)
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.