Eric Tousaint’s study of the odious debt doctrine
by Eric Toussaint
Part 20 - A long list of debt cancellations or repudiations
The list of debt abolitions or repudiations that evoke, in one way or another, the argument of their illegal, illegitimate or odious character is long. Without claiming to be exhaustive we may nevertheless mention:
- The three waves of debt repudiations by the United States in the 1830s, 1860s and 1870s.
- The Mexican debt repudiations in 1861,1867,1883 and in the 1910s.
- The repudiation by Peru of the debt reclaimed by the Parisian bankers ’Dreyfus’.
- The 1898 repudiation by Cuba of the debt reclaimed by Spain.
- The repudiation by the British of the debt reclaimed on the Boers after the conquest of the Boer Republics in 1899-1900.
- The repudiation by the Bolsheviks in 1918 of the debt left by the Tsars.
- The repudiation of Germany’s debts on Poland and its African colonies in 1919.
- The abolition of the debt of the part of Poland that was colonised by the Tsarist Empire.
- The abolition, by the Bolsheviks in 1920, of the debt of the three Baltic States and of Persia.
- The repudiation by Costa Rica in 1922-23 of the debt reclaimed by The Royal Bank of Canada.
- The large debt repudiations made by Brazil and Mexico in 1942-43.
- The Chinese debt repudiations in 1949-52.
- The repudiation by Indonesia of the debt reclaimed by the Netherlands in 1956.
- The repudiations by Cuba in 1959-60; the repudiation of the colonial debt by Algeria in 1962.
- The three Baltic Republics’ repudiation of the debts reclaimed, this time by the other former members of the USSR, in 1991.
- The abolition of Namibia’s debt, by Nelson Mandela’s South African government in 1994.
- The abolition of Timor-Leste’s colonial debt in 1999-2000.
- The abolition of 80% of Iraq’s debt in 2004.
- Paraguay’s repudiation of debts reclaimed by Swiss banks in 2005.
- Norway relaxing its claims on five countries (Ecuador, Peru, Sierra Leone, Egypt and Jamaica) calling for repayment of debts concerning the production and delivery of fishing boats in 2006.
- The abolition, in 2009, of the part of the Ecuadorian debt that had been identified as non-legitimate by the 2007-2008 debt audit Commission.
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