China's Hu extends credit, donations to Cuba

HAVANA (AP) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has promised Cuba at least $78 million in donations, credit and hurricane relief to one of the few communist allies China has left.

Hu also met with a thin-looking Fidel Castro before leaving for the Asia-Pacific economic summit in Peru.

China agreed to donate $8 million to Cuba and extend the second, $70 million phase of $350 million in previously agreed-upon credit to renovate Cuban hospitals.

Cuba has already borrowed extensively from China and it is unclear if Beijing ever expects to be paid back. Hu's country agreed to postpone for five years payments on a $7-million credit to Cuba from 1998 and delay until 2018 repayment of loans of undisclosed value from 1994 and 1995.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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