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 –