Skip to main content

Cuba to do away with dual currency system

By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
October 22, 2013 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
A shopkeeper talks to a customer in Santiago de Cuba, on July 10. Cuban government plans to end the dual-currency system.
A shopkeeper talks to a customer in Santiago de Cuba, on July 10. Cuban government plans to end the dual-currency system.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cuba has two currencies: the Cuban peso, CUP, and the hard currency convertible peso, CUC
  • Most Cubans are paid in the CUP; purchases of most goods require the CUC
  • The change is to be a gradual process, the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma says

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- The Cuban government announced Tuesday it plans to end the country's dual-currency system.

Presently, most Cubans are paid in the Cuban peso, or CUP, while the vast majority of goods on the island are available only with the hard currency convertible peso, or CUC.

Convertible pesos are pegged to the U.S. dollar, while the Cuban pesos are worth only about 4 cents each.

Neither peso is accepted as currency outside of Cuba, where, according to government statistics, most Cubans make about $20 a month from their official salaries.

The dual system came into being after the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Cuba introduced the U.S. dollar as the country's second currency.

In 2004, the government replaced the dollar with the convertible peso. The dual-currency system is unpopular with many Cubans, who complain that the Cuban pesos they received their salaries in are not accepted in stores that carry sought-after imported goods.

The announcement in the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma said the change is to be a gradual process, but gave no timetable.

"The currency unification isn't a measure that will resolve on its own the current problems of the economy. But its adoption is vital to restoring value to the Cuban peso," the announcement in Granma read.

For months, Cuban officials have said ending the two-currency system was a priority but the move would have a major impact on the government's gradual attempts to move from a centralized, communist-style economy.

The announcement Tuesday said the Cuban central bank will continue to back both currencies and give Cubans time to convert their savings.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT