Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Now People Don't Want the "Chavitos" (CUCs) / Alberto Mendez Castello

Posted on April 20, 2014

Currency speculation has the island on the edge of mental collapse.

Monday with which to pay wages is scarce. Peso equivalents to the dollar

aren't sold. Informal money changes want real dollars.

Puerto Padre, Cuba — The State Currency Exchange (CADECA) resumed the

sale of convertible pesos (CUC) today, after some interrupted for lack

of non-convertible, i.e. Cuban pesos (CUP). "We are exchanging any

quantify of convertible pesos for national money (CUP), without any

problem," an employee of CADECA said this morning, when asked by this

correspondent. "For me, they changed 24 CUC at 24-to-one, and you see

the 100 peso notes they gave me in exchange," said a man after leaving


Indeed, the curiosity of the young man was not unfounded: although the

date on the notes was 2008, the paper and ink "smelled" as if it had

just come off the presses. The private exchangers don't accept CUCs now

because, simply, people won't by them."

"I brought seven hundred CUC here and I haven't sold one," said the

exchanger, about noon, regarding the convertible pesos popularly known

as chavitos. "The people who don't receive remittances don't have money,

and those who do receive them don't need chavitos."

In Puerto Padre, CUC used to be common in people's pockets; a large

community of immigrants, primarily based in the U.S., sent dollars

relatives and friends which reached the recipients already changed into

CUCs through Miami agencies engaged in this business.

The same applies to medical personnel or those of other institutions,

who, in filling government posts in Latin America and Africa, are also

holders of convertible pesos. Interestingly, these government

collaborators are frequent customers of private moneychangers who

operate illegally, buying U.S. dollars to carry on their missions abroad

to buy appliances and other goods that it would otherwise be impossible

to bring to Cuba with what are paid for their "internationalist"


"I don't buy chavitos now, only dollars in large bills, all they have,"

whispers an underground exchanger on the corner. For every 100 dollar

bill, today he pays 97 pesos.

Cubanet, 19 March 2014, Alberto Méndez Castelló

Source: Now People Don't Want the "Chavitos" (CUCs) / Alberto Mendez

Castello | Translating Cuba –

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