Brazil has contributed the equivalent of over 950 Million US Dollars to redevelop and extend the Cuban port of Mariel. The new facility is sited to the west of the capital, Havana and is a rare example of a major project in Cuba funded from overseas.
The initiative marks part of a new economic direction for the Caribbean island, including a special zone surrounding the port which is intended to attract foreign business and finance. The project has some echoes of the Special Economic Zone set up on its mainland by another communist state, China, adjacent to Hong Kong and just before that territory was transferred back from Britain.
The first phase of the Mariel development has already been completed and been formally inaugurated by the presidents of Cuba and Brazil.