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Cuba to scrap two-currency system in latest reform

From the BBC
Cuba is to scrap its two-currency system in the latest financial reform rolled out by President Raul Castro, official media report.

Since 1994 Cuba has had two currencies, one pegged to the US dollar and the other worth only a fraction of that.

The more valuable convertible peso (CUC) was reserved for use in the tourism sector and foreign trade.

Now its value will be gradually unified with the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented by ordinary Cubans.

No fixed timetable

The Cuban economy is almost entirely state-run and the tourism sector has boomed since the collapse of the Soviet Union plunged Cuba into economic isolation and hardship.

The two-currency system was supposed to protect Cuba’s fragile economy but angered locals paid in the much lower-value CUP and denied access to goods only available for those with convertible pesos.

The policy exacerbated the creation of a two-tier class system in Cuba which divided privileged Cubans with access to the lucrative tourist and foreign-trade sectors from those working in the local economy - all-too-visibly contradicting Cuba’s supposedly egalitarian society.

The council of ministers has approved a timetable for implementing “measures that will lead to monetary and exchange unification”, the official Communist Party newspaper Granma said.

Unification is “imperative to guarantee the re-establishment of the Cuban peso’s value and its role as money, that is as a unit of accounting, means of payment and savings”, it said.

It gave no details of how quickly the change would be implemented, though Reuters news agency quoted Cuban economists as saying it would take about 18 months.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-24627620

that being said… WHo keeps CUC for their trip back to the island? I know we do keep a little to have when we land at the airport. will that be risky now in the event that they elimniate the CUC for some other currency> Will this make it void? Who knows eh?

18 months, plenty of times for Cubans to get rid of CUC

Good to see, will make things easier for the locals of course. But also makes it a little easier for us tourists who leave the resorts and like to shop, eat, and minlge with locals.

But I am guessing 18 mths will really mean 3-4 years before we will really see the change implemented?!

We bring back CUCs for our next trip. I think we have about 70CUCs right now. I’d like to see one currency and I hope it’s the CUC.

I always comeback with a pocket full of CUC.
Some CUP also.
Steffiej what is your reasoning for preferring a currency called CUC?

Radar, it’s not what it’s called that I prefer. My preference for them keeping the CUC is completely selfish - it’s the currency that comes home in our pockets, and that of other tourists, and I don’t want to have to return to Cuba with worthless currency! I realize you aren’t the typical tourist and do come in contact with CUPs. The majority of tourists never come in contact with them.

Seeing that it is “illegal” to take CUC out of Cuba going forward one should not have the problem you describe.
You should have an opportunity to dump your CUC in February.
How much do you usually head home with in your pocket?

[quote=@radar]Seeing that it is “illegal” to take CUC out of Cuba going forward one should not have the problem you describe.
You should have an opportunity to dump your CUC in February.
How much do you usually head home with in your pocket?
[/quote]

Curious to know where it is written that it is “illegal” to take CUC out of Cuba. If anyone has a reference document it would be greatly appreciated.

Here you go ald1.


"It is not allowed to export the called peso convertible (CUC), in any denomination and quantity"

[quote=@radar]Here you go ald1.


"It is not allowed to export the called peso convertible (CUC), in any denomination and quantity"[/quote]

Thank you Radar,

well that spells it out “boldly” Pun intended!

I wonder how many tourists leave the country without even knowing they are breaking the Regs of the Central Bank of Cuba.

funny it isn’t enforced or even advertised at the airports and cadecas. you would think that at the departure lounge they would have signs everywhere. but hey se Cuba! :slight_smile:

thanks for the link !

You’re welcome. I think this regulation came into being just this year.
I bring CUC out with me as many do. It is a tough regulation to enforce.
But since it is in place no one should complain about their CUC losing value in the future.

I knew about this regulation but, as with so many other tourists leaving Cuba, we will continue to leave with a small amount (under 100 CUCs) for the convince of our next visit. If they didn’t want tourists to leave with the currency they should make it more convenient for travellers arriving (in Varadero) and put a currency exchange back in Arrivals! If it is devalued, we won’t loose sleep over the small amount we bring home nor if it gets confiscated-not that I foresee that happening.

Why not do what I do, have a few one dollar bills in American currency to get started. They still love the U.S.dollar.

Hola
We just returned from Cuba this week, many are talking about the change with the cuc/cup. One paper my friend told me that it was going to be Jan…my comment was what year? Many seem to think the cuc will be gone and the cup will be the only currency, and perhaps like one time in Mexico where 100 dollars got you 240,000 pesos, they just printed larger bills. If this is like anything else in Cuba…it will not happen overnight. It now legal to take the cuc’s out of the country, but I have never seen anyone asked if they have cuc’s when leaving, and I have been asked to exchange some coins, in the departure area by aduana…lol
I joked with my friend when I cash in 2000/3000 dollars and if not cuc’s and only cup…I will need a much larger wallet.
cheers

[quote=@crabby1]Hola
We just returned from Cuba this week, many are talking about the change with the cuc/cup. One paper my friend told me that it was going to be Jan…my comment was what year? Many seem to think the cuc will be gone and the cup will be the only currency, and perhaps like one time in Mexico where 100 dollars got you 240,000 pesos, they just printed larger bills. If this is like anything else in Cuba…it will not happen overnight. It now legal to take the cuc’s out of the country, but I have never seen anyone asked if they have cuc’s when leaving, and I have been asked to exchange some coins, in the departure area by aduana…lol
I joked with my friend when I cash in 2000/3000 dollars and if not cuc’s and only cup…I will need a much larger wallet.
cheers[/quote]

thanks for the info… we are heading to Cuba before Jan 2014 and we will make sure not to keep any CUC in the event that the currency becomes obsolete. P-) :slight_smile:

Hola
we are going back for dec for two weeks, I still will take some back, this change will not happen overnight…imo…if it does happen sooner than later…I will be out a few bucks…no worries…
cheers.

Here is the full quote from the Aduana link:

Regulations of the Central Bank of Cuba for currency import and export

:black_medium_small_square: The import of freely convertible currency is free in Cuba.

:black_medium_small_square: [strong]Passange[/strong]rs can export freely convertible currency (MLC) in cash up to the equivalent of five thousand (5000) USD. Passengers can only withdraw from Cuba amounts exceeding this amount if they have declared it to customs in the PASSENGERS DECLARATION when they entered the country, or by submitting to Customs authorities bank documents proving its legitimate purchase in the country.

:black_medium_small_square:Cuban and foreign citizens permanently resident in Cuba can export and import amounts not exceeding two thousand Cuban pesos (CUP 2000) in cash and any denomination.

:black_medium_small_square:It is not allowed to export the called peso convertible (CUC), in any denomination and quantity

So, based on the above, passengers (which I take to be tourists) can export CUCs (MLC) to a point and they can bring it back in.  I can’t quite figure out how the last statement makes sense with the statements in blue ???

Steffie, I am not clear what the abbreviation MLC stands for, but I think when they talk about “freely convertible currency”, that doesn’t include CUC, as they can’t be exchanged outside Cuba. Freely convertible would refer to US dollars, Canadian Dollars, Pounds, Euros, and so on.
It is a bit confusing, I suppose considering that the CUC is a “convertible” peso.

Edit: I should have gone to google translate before I posted. Freely convertible currency translates to moneda libremente convertible. Fairly obvious, I guess that MLC is just the abbreviation in Spanisn for freely convertible currency.

Last year at the Manzanillo airport they started restricting you from taking money (CUC) out - they installed a money exchange booth in the departures area and made everyone go there.
The Sunwing rep was warning people during her briefing and it was posted on her bulletin board taht if you had any CUC, they could (and would) confiscate it and you wouldn’t get anything in exchange.

Those of us who like to keep a little for the next trip have started to “hide” a little in our suitcase or in a sock. LOL.

The rationale for the new ban was twofold - a possible move to one currency and also there have been a lot of incidences of people making counterfeit bills and coming back to Cuba with them in order to flood the market (blame the CIA for that one, I’m sure).

Apparently you can keep coins. Its the bills that are the issue (see my CIA comment above), so for those who still want a couple of pesos to tip the luggage folks on the return trip, you will be fine. Personally, I stopped keeping too much because I don’t want to arrive one trip to find out that my CUCs are worthless.