Ending Cuba’s dual-currency system, one of the most complicated reforms proposed by the government of Raul Castro, should have been done long ago, according to an economist cited in Monday’s edition of Communist Party daily Granma.
Joaquin Infante Ugarte, an adviser to the president of the National Association of Cuban Economists and Accountants, called the elimination of the dual-currency regime an “overriding necessity.”
The Cuban government in October 2013 announced the beginning of a gradual process to unify the two currencies that have circulated on the island for 20 years: the peso, worth less than 4 cents and the convertible peso, or CUC, which trades at parity with the dollar.
The vast majority of Cubans are paid in pesos, receiving an average monthly salary equivalent to about $17.
“The most strategic thing,” according to Infante, is to eliminate the dual exchange rates in the state sector.
He warned that the elimination of the double-currency system will not mean an immediate increase in individual purchasing power because the appreciation of the Cuban peso is linked to an “increase in productivity, in labor efficiency, in competitiveness and profitability.”