The “Dark Triangle” of Social Equity in Cuba
November 13, 2013
and the Opinions of the Left
HAVANA TIMES — Recent announcements about Cuba’s imminent monetary
unification do not afford us much information on the changes we can
expect to see over time.
Talk about this reform measure has been going on for some time now, and
the “Press Note” did not exactly explain the issue or offer anything
resembling a chronogram or a sense of the concrete measures that will
begin to be applied soon.
Rather, it aims at making the government’s decision to gradually
re-establish a single currency in the country visible, against the more
pessimistic opinions about this that have been circulating of late.
I find the comments that have been published in this connection very
interesting. These go from detailed explanations on how the Cuban
Convertible Peso (CUC) – Cuban Peso (CUP) exchange rate in different
business contexts has changed over time to the psychological effects of
the transition from a two-currency to a single-currency monetary system.
In a previous post, I commented that what the Cuban population needs
today is not a specific currency but purchasing power, expressed
numerically in any currency.
The official Press Note clarifies three points of “economic” importance:
– The measure aims at maintaining the Cuban Peso (“domestic currency”,
“working class peso” or CUP), not the CUC or a hypothetical new, third
currency (years ago, it was speculated Cuba’s economy would adopt the
Sucre or a new currency, which was tentatively to be called the Mambi).
– Apparently, the current exchange rate of 25 CUP / 1 CUC will be
– Also (and this is very important), the government guarantees (at least
in its official discourse) that bank deposits in the two currencies and
foreign hard currencies will not be affected (against rumors and a
number of past experiences with “currency changes”).
The “psychological” message behind this – which is just as clear as the
financial one – is that we must forget, once and for all, of ever going
back to the parity between the Cuban Peso and the US dollar…and that
those areas of the country’s economy where such a fiction (and the
non-mathematical category known as the “total currency”) still exists
will gradually have to adjust to hard, current reality.
Now, we have to place this within the context of what I call the “dark
triangle” of Cuba’s socio-economic reality, or, more specifically, of
Cuba’s current “social question”, where the word “social” refers to
social justice or equity.
To be continued…
Source: “The “Dark Triangle” of Social Equity in Cuba – Havana
Times.org” – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=100032