Cuba: Big Eyes, Small Pocketbook

As the Cuban economy plunged deeper into ruin last year, Fidel Castro's Russian partners allowed him to sell the world 1,000,000 tons of sugar previously committed to the Soviet Union. With world sugar prices then as high as 100 per lb., the windfall netted Castro some $100 million in foreign exchange, which he immediately used for a shopping spree: buses from Britain, cranes and locomotives from France, trucks and fishing boats from Spain.

Fidel apparently ordered too much. From Havana now comes word that Cuba has "suspended" all further purchases abroad except for medicine and parts for the sugar and...

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