Skip to main content

Cuba to do away with dual currency system

By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
updated 12:20 PM EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
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
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
updated 11:26 PM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
Think that U.S. President Barack Obama has done a back flip on Iraq and Syria? Think again.
updated 11:38 PM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
Treated with all due respect, volcanoes can offer some stunning vistas. Just don't fall in.
updated 1:22 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
The blogger, the hacker, the PM... and Kim Dotcom? New Zealand's election campaign erupts in scandal.
updated 10:36 PM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
In the aftermath of that deadly day, the enemy quickly became clear. But now a plurality of extremist threats tests global resolve.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Soviets put stray dogs into orbit. Then, next thing you know...
updated 5:28 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
Her name is Thokozile Matilda Masipa, and she is the woman who will rule whether Oscar Pistorius is a murderer.
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
As a 10-year-old, this boy first hit the headlines in 1982 when he saved his cat from a fire. This year, he was reported to be a suicide bomber.
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
After months -- if not years -- of speculation, the tech giant's first foray into wearables has arrived. Here are our first impressions.
updated 8:41 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Steven Sotloff's family believes ISIS paid rebels to alert the group about his location in Syria.
updated 4:05 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Bali might be a popular tourist destination but there are crowd-free corners worth exploring.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Scots are preparing to vote on the future of their country. Will they decide to leave the UK?
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT