Cuba to print higher-denomination pesos
By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ The Associated Press
First Published Jan 15 2015 06:06PM
Havana • Cuba will print bills of 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos that will
start to circulate in February, a step forward in the government’s plan
to unify its dual-currency system.
A Cuban Central Bank resolution published Thursday said the new
banknotes will extend the range of the current bills, which only reach
Most Cubans earn and buy goods in local pesos worth about 4 U.S. cents
apiece. Tourism, one of the island’s main sources of foreign exchange,
operates on the convertible peso, a special currency worth roughly one
The double currency allows Cuba to theoretically split the country
between a realm of highly subsidized prices in Cuban pesos and a
convertible-peso economy where prices more closely resemble those of
U.S. or European cities. But the system has led to economic distortions
and created a new class of privileged Cubans with access to convertible
Cuba’s government announced in 2013 that it would eliminate the double
currency but did not set out a timetable for the switch.
Central Bank Vice President Francisco Mayorbe told state newspaper
Granma that in recent months a lot of stores that sell in convertible
pesos have started accepting local pesos, with the price set after
establishing the exchange rate.
This means that customers and businesses must increasingly handle larger
quantities of cash, a problem accentuated by the fact that the country’s
largest banknote, the 100-peso bill, is worth about 4 U.S. dollars.
Barbara Soto Sanchez, an official with state company Cimex, said most
sales are carried out with 20- or 50-peso bills, which makes buying
expensive products like electrical appliances or furniture difficult.
“To buy them, the customer has to bring in a large quantity of cash
under conditions that are not always optimal,” Soto Sanchez told Granma.
Andrea Rodriguez on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARodriguezAP
Source: Cuba to print higher-denomination pesos | The Salt Lake Tribune