Photo: Cuba Will No Longer Have Dual Currency
The Cuban government announced Tuesday the beginning of a process to eliminate the unpopular dual-currency system that has prevailed on the island since 1994, Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday.
“The Council of Ministers has agreed to put into effect a schedule for applying measures that will lead to monetary and exchange-rate unification,” the newspaper said.
Cuba now has two currencies - the peso, which is worth less than 4 cents, and the CUC, which trades at parity with the dollar.
The vast majority of Cubans are paid in pesos, receiving an average monthly salary of about $17.
Employees of foreign-owned firms receive some remuneration in CUCs, and people who get remittances in dollars from relatives in the United States can exchange their greenbacks for CUCs.
Without establishing any specific dates, Granma said the transition will begin with firms, “in order to favor conditions for increased efficiency, provide a better measure of economic operations and as a stimulus for sectors producing goods and services for export and for import substitution.”
The Cuban government notes that “no measure that is adopted in the monetary field will be to the detriment” of workers or savers.
It also guarantees that it will continue to apply the current policy of subsidies for retail prices and for individuals when necessary, as long as the nation’s economic conditions require it.”
Monetary unification is one of the most important measures in the plan for economic reforms launched by President Raul Castro to “modernize” the island’s socialist model.
The present dual-currency regime is one of the “biggest obstacles to progress in the country,” Castro told Cuba’s parliament in July.