The US Dollar Is Not My Currency

By Ammi

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.

Read more from Ammi here.

2 thoughts on “The US Dollar Is Not My Currency

  • It is indeed a sad situation in Cuba. However, the frustration should not be directed at the dollar currency, but at the Cuban government that has created and perpetuates the worthless Cuban peso.

    Ammi’s previous rent is the same as her current rent. At “around 1500 pesos”, and a 24 to 1 exchange rate supported by the existence of CUC, it was equivalent to $60. Her current rent of 3600 pesos with an exchange rate of 60 to 1, and no way to convert pesos to a stable currency, is still equivalent to $60.

    The Cuban people are intelligent. They are intrinsically capitalist. They understand that accepting payment in a rapidly inflating currency is a bad idea.

    Until the Cuban government opens up the economy and allows the Cuban spirit to prosper, Cubans will continue to suffer.

  • Ammi There are No words for The Hard Ship of the Cuban People that must endure Daily life. Getting the Yanks $$ to survive day to day sounds impossible if you are Not Connected to the outside World. I Know it is impossible for the USA Cash, Unless a Criminal activity is your Connection to Dollars. How much at Risk will the Tourist Be I am thinking, a walking Cadeca.

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