World

Cuba reaches long-awaited deal with creditors over billions in debts

  • FILE - In this June 20, 2011 file photo, a man checks the engine of his water cistern truck in Old Havana, Cuba. Cuba has reached a landmark agreement with foreign creditors over billions of dollars in unpaid debt dating back 25 years. The Paris Club of creditor nations announced a deal Monday under which creditors will cancel $8.5 billion of overdue interest payments, in exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of debt over the next 18 years. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File)

    FILE - In this June 20, 2011 file photo, a man checks the engine of his water cistern truck in Old Havana, Cuba. Cuba has reached a landmark agreement with foreign creditors over billions of dollars in unpaid debt dating back 25 years. The Paris Club of creditor nations announced a deal Monday under which creditors will cancel $8.5 billion of overdue interest payments, in exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of debt over the next 18 years. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 23, 2011 file photo, Ruben Font carries a scaffold piece to his home in Havana, Cuba. Cuba has reached a landmark agreement with foreign creditors over billions of dollars in unpaid debt dating back 25 years. The Paris Club of creditor nations announced a deal Monday under which creditors will cancel $8.5 billion of overdue interest payments, in exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of debt over the next 18 years. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes, File)

    FILE - In this May 23, 2011 file photo, Ruben Font carries a scaffold piece to his home in Havana, Cuba. Cuba has reached a landmark agreement with foreign creditors over billions of dollars in unpaid debt dating back 25 years. The Paris Club of creditor nations announced a deal Monday under which creditors will cancel $8.5 billion of overdue interest payments, in exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of debt over the next 18 years. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes, File)  (The Associated Press)

Cuba has reached a landmark agreement with foreign creditors over billions of dollars in unpaid debt dating back 25 years.

The Paris Club of creditor nations announced a deal Monday under which creditors will cancel $8.5 billion of overdue interest payments, in exchange for a promise by Cuba to pay off $2.6 billion of debt over the next 18 years.

France, Cuba's biggest creditor, led the negotiations.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin said the accord "helps to definitively resolve the issue of Cuba's medium-term debt... which has not been honored since the 1980s."

President Raul Castro has been working to improve relations with creditors as he tries to modernize and open up the communist island's economy.

The U.S. maintains an economic embargo against Cuba.