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Currency Unification to Begin January 1

First Secretary, Raul Castro, and President, Miguel Diaz-Canel made the announcement of currency unification on a broadcast address to the nation. Photo taken from broadcast.

In a televised address to the nation, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, in the presence of Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party, made the announcement that the country will begin the currency unification process on January 1, 2021.

The Official Gazette of Cuba released the regulations and procedures related to the monetary change. The CUP will become the single currency of the nation. The exchange rate is set at 24 Cuban pesos (CUP) to one dollar.

For more than 20 years Cuba has had two currencies, the CUP and the convertible peso (CUC) that was introduced in the late 1990s, but the two-tiered monetary system was problematic.

Over the last six months the Cuban government has been informing the public of the upcoming move to a single currency. The process will take approximately six months.

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Bank accounts in CUC or cash on hand will be honored at the current exchange rate of 24 CUP to one CUC.

Currency unification is a part of a broader plan to reorder the economy, a situation in part brought on by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Salary increases, price hikes, rate increases, changes in subsidy plans, are among the other economic measures created to respond to Cuba’s reality and to boost the economy and promote development.

President Diaz-Canel emphasized that no one will be left behind and that welfare programs and social assistance will be in place to assist those with less income.

He also said that there would be stiff penalties in place for those caught speculating or exchanging money illegally.

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Monetary reunification process will take approximately six months to complete.

The Cuban president said more information will be released in the upcoming days.

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