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 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 9:49 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
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