Cuba on Monday inaugurated a $957m port billed as the most modern in Latin America and crucial to the economic future of the communist-ruled island in a project financed by Brazil and equipped for ships passing through an expanded Panama Canal.
Cuban President Raul Castro and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cut the ribbon in a ceremony attended by other regional leaders in Cuba for a Latin American and Caribbean summit. It was financed largely by the Brazilian development bank BNDES and built by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht SA.
The Mariel container terminal, to be operated by Singaporean port operator PSA International Pte Ltd, will include a rail and highway support system and replace Havana as Cuba's most important port.
The Mariel special development zone covers 180 square miles (466 square km) centered around Mariel Bay, 28 miles (45 km) west of Havana.