President Hu Jintao signed dozens of trade and investment deals with Cuba on a visit to the country Tuesday, AP reported. The deals included purchases of Cuban nickel and sugar, pledges to send food and building materials for relief from hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma as well as a commitment to help improve the country’s ports. Hu is on a trip around Latin America strengthening trade ties and securing raw materials. Cuban President Raul Castro is said to be an admirer of the Chinese model of market reform, although the government has shown no signs of releasing its near-complete economic and political control. Hu will visit Peru next, and will begin free trade talks with Costa Rica in January.
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