Cubans greet Castro dictatorship’s latest currency manipulation scheme with scepticism

For the media and “Cuba Experts,” the latest scheme by the Castro dictatorship to manipulate the nation’s currency is but yet another grandiose and magnificent reform by the island’s totalitarian regime. For regular Cubans, however, this latest chapter of a voluminous tome of apartheid currency policy, which began shortly after Fidel Castro took power, is just another cynical move by the repressive Castro government to shore up its power and maintain total and complete control over its oppressed subjects.

Via NBC News:

Cubans give muted welcome to end of ‘convertible peso’ dual currency system

HAVANA – Cubans gave a cautious welcome Tuesday to plans to phase out the country’s confounding dual currency system as part of reforms aimed at fixing the island’s economy.

The beginning of the end of the twin system of domestic pesos (CUP) and “convertible” tourist pesos (CUC) – which are 25 times more valuable and are tied to the U.S. dollar – was announced in a government advisory, published in the official Granma newspaper.

“If this changes the economy then it is welcome,” said Antonio Martinez , 32, a farmers’ market trader in Havana.

Silvia Rodriguez, 34, a cafeteria cashier, said: “I do not care about if it’s the peso or whatever. What interests me is if everything improves – my financial situation, that of my people, and that there be free movement of money.”

The dual currency system has existed since 1994, after the collapse of the Soviet Union ended lucrative trade deals – forcing Cuba to open its economy to tourism while trying to preserve its centrally-planned ethos.

Workers are paid in domestic pesos, forcing professionals such as doctors and teachers to moonlight as cab drivers or private tutors to supplement their state salaries.

Tourist pesos are used for foreign trade, including imported electrical goods, and upscale restaurants. Neither currency is legal tender outside Cuba.

Many imported goods can only be bought in CUCs, creating a social divide between ordinary Cubans and those with access to the much more valuable currency.

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1 thought on “Cubans greet Castro dictatorship’s latest currency manipulation scheme with scepticism”

  1. I read this article with great interest until I got to the last paragraph and the bit about the free healthcare and education that make up for the “inefficiencies” in the economic system.

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