British Court Examines Lawsuit Against Cuba for Unpaid Debt
Cuba and Banco Nacional de Cuba Sued by British Venture Capital Fund in London Supreme Court
A British venture capital fund, CRF I Limited, has sued the Cuban State and the Banco Nacional de Cuba (BNC) for tens of millions of dollars in alleged commercial debts in the London Supreme Court. Judge Sara Cockerill, of the Commercial Division of the London Supreme Court, began to hear arguments on Monday to determine whether CRF is Cuba’s legitimate creditor.
CRF I Limited is based in the Cayman Islands and is the main holder of Cuban debt within the London Club, an informal group of private sovereign debt creditors. CRF gradually acquired a portfolio of Cuban sovereign debt worth 1.2 billion euros (1.3 billion dollars) by November 2017, according to the court file.
Cuba has contested the lawsuit, claiming that CRF I Limited is a “vulture fund” and therefore wouldn’t have been accepted as its creditor. According to an article in the state newspaper Granma, Cuba and BNC “have always maintained [their] interest in negotiating with those entities that are legitimate creditors.”
The decision from Judge Cockerill may take weeks and may eventually be appealed. The London Supreme Court is also currently judging a dispute between Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó over control of nearly 2 billion dollars worth of Venezuelan gold, now in the hands of the Commercial Section of the Supreme Court.