Cuba swaps bank notes to stop counterfeiting
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
HAVANA, Cuba (Reuters): Cuba’s Central Bank issued new bank notes with
enhanced security features on Monday to prevent growing counterfeiting
of convertible pesos (CUC).
The new bills add the denomination to the watermark and keep the
revolutionary slogan “Homeland or Death, We Shall Overcome” in the
“There are lots of false bills in circulation, especially 50 and 100
CUCs. That’s why they are changing them,” said a Havana bank teller.
The Central Bank gave no details on counterfeiting, but a business
source said the false bank notes were printed abroad, possibly in the
exile community in Miami.
“There has been a lot of counterfeiting. They are so easy to counterfeit
that you could almost do it on a good copier,” said a resident foreign
“It could be the Miami crowd. I don’t know. But they were not from here.
They came from out of the country,” he said.
The convertible peso is the strongest of Cuba’s two currencies and worth
24 Cuban pesos. It was introduced in 1994 to circulate in tandem with
the Cuban peso after Cuba legalized possession of the US dollar during
its post-Soviet crisis.
The CUC is used to buy most consumer goods, especially since Cuba’s
communist government eliminated the dollar as legal tender in late 2004.
Pegged at par with the dollar for a decade, the CUC was revalued in
April 2005 to $1.08. The local script is worthless outside Cuba.