HAVANA TIMES – One of today’s downturns in Cuban society is the creation of stores where products can only be purchased in US dollars. This has resulted in people no longer wanting to be paid for any service in Cuban pesos. Now for almost any purchase the dollar is required, which is valued at 60 pesos and continues to increase.
[The official rate is 24 pesos to the dollar, but the government changes houses and banks do not sell dollars.]
Those who pay rent on the Island have been greatly affected. The owners of rentals now demand payment in dollars. They argue the obvious reasons that almost any basic product can only be purchased in that currency.
It is no secret that having a place to live of your own in Cuba is a luxury that not everyone can have. Many children remain with their parents until they are in their 30s, others, with no alternative, throughout their lives.
Regina is one of the many Havana residents who lost her apartment due to a building collapse. She has been renting now for five years. She tells us that although it was always difficult for her to pay for an apartment, she found the alternative of working two jobs. One salary for the rent, and the other to feed her family.
Today her rent has more than doubled. What used to oscillate around 1,500 pesos is now 3,600, always with the condition that if it is in dollars, then much better. This complicates things. Here on the island we have never been paid in dollars, it is not our currency!
How many hours of work do we need to do for a living wage that allows us to buy food, pay rent, clothes and shoes for our children?
I see a country in ruins in every sense, from the economic, political, and social. We are an aging, malnourished and ragged population, which has been exacerbated by the presence of the pandemic. They have imposed aberrant measures on us, regulations that do not order anything. It has only led to chaos and they have adopted a currency that not all of us can embrace.