Rumors about CUC and other Uncertainties

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

Line at the Cadeca money exchange in Pinar del Rio

Rumors going viral on social media are taken as true by many Cubans.

HAVANA TIMES – First a voice clip went viral in Whatsapp and Telegram groups. An alleged source with access to the highest political ranks, gives insight into the currency reunification process. Also “leaked” was a price list of basic essentials that you can get via the ration’s booklet. The prices had shot up, as well as another pay rise mentioned.

The rumor said that as of October 1st, the Convertible Cuban Peso (CUC) will begin to be cut out of circulation. The exchange rate would be 1 CUC for 20 pesos (CUP), currently its 24 x 1. This would take place gradually over six months so that people can get rid of this currency. The “news” led to mass hysteria.

I have seen ATMs unable to keep up, in Pinar del Rio city at least. Lines in front of banks are super long. The same thing is happening outside the two Bureau d’Change branches (CADECA) here.

I spent the entire morning of September 11th at a CADECA to get rid of the CUCs I had left. I was following the age-old piece of popular wisdom that says: “there’s no smoke without fire.”

All of this, in addition to prices and wages, led to a wave of concern among the Cuban people.

As you would expect, it’s disturbing that a family would have to invest more than 1000 pesos in basics, which aren’t enough to feed them for 10 days.

The government says the rumors are false

The government says rumors are false

Setting the minimum wage at 1250 pesos (currently 400), means that inflation will only get worse. It is already chronic and almost nobody follows it anymore. However, your ordinary Cuban’s logic, who has had to endure years of so many shortages, doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with the logic of those who govern the country from their comfortable positions.

After remaining silent in the beginning, the government has now decided to finally come out and deny these rumors.

On September 10th, party-line newspaper Cubadebate published a statement issued by Cuba’s Central Bank saying: “this information isn’t true.” They assured, “when a decision is made, it will be announced via official channels, in a timely manner.”

On September 14th, this website published another article with similar explanations.

However, nothing was clarified in regard to pay rises and prices of the basic foods going up, as a result.

Whether these rumors are true or not, between distrust, the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy in a permanent state of crisis and expectations when the future looms grey on the horizon, the Cuban people are experiencing extremely tense and uncertain times.

Read more diary posts from Pedro Pablo Morejon

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

4 thoughts on “Rumors about CUC and other Uncertainties

  • Nassim Fathallah, I concur with Carlyle’s remarks. Havana Times is an open-minded forum to which contributors write about their experiences inside Cuba. I am sure many people want to read what is “really” going on in Cuba rather than the propaganda that is perpetrated in the state owned national newspaper or state owned television. I presume the editors will not deny any contribution as long as it is respectful and does not malign nor is libelous.

    In fact, did not HT invite, Elio, or certainly someone of similar political persuasion to find any Cuban writers from the communist ideology perspective to contribute written articles. As Carlyle states, the only one who has taken up the challenge to debunk what other domestic Cuban writers are experiencing inside Cuba is Elio. Fair enough.

    He writes and so does everybody else write and others critique. That is what it is like to live in a democratic society (outside Cuba) where all opinions are accepted, none are rejected given the said parameters.

    As I read with much interest the prolific Cuban writers’ written contributions to me they seem all to be saying there are significant problems in Cuba today (Nassim would you vehemently disagree with that?), the government is not helping much (Nassim, do the writers not have a legitimate point here?), and the Cuban government needs to fix things now before they get even worse (Nassim, could you not at least agree with that?). So, where is the “VENEMOUS, POISONOUS news about Cuba”? Please be more specific.

    I do not know what country you are from but everything in the above paragraph could apply to any country in the world, even in the country where I live, Canada. The Canadian government has significant problems, politicians are not helping much, and the Canadian government better get its act together otherwise all Canadians will be in dire straits in the future. Certainly not venomous or poisonous news about Canada, simply a Canadian’s viewpoint regarding his country. Some agree; some disagree.

    Back to the Cuban situation, Nassim, do you not agree if you read carefully, that Cuban contributors more often than not provide very cogent, helpful, pragmatic solutions to their internal problems. They do so because they love their country, they want their country to prosper, and not to be seen as a basket case in the world. All are very patriotic Cuban citizens.

    So, Nassim the next time you read an article that you vehemently oppose or totally agree regarding any issue about Cuba, please feel free to write your opinion. Be aware that some readers will agree with you; other readers will disagree with you. This forum, as all writers and readers vehemently agree, is very open minded.

  • I saw on TV here in the USA people standing in line at the ATM’s there in Havana, trying to figure how how to work with three different monies and what their values were??? Too confusing!

  • I challenge Nassim Fathallah to contradict any articles published in Havana Times which he finds untruthful with correction of any facts stated. Obviously, he has failed to read articles by Elio Legon, that faithfully replicate the views of the propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba.
    For Nassim Fathallah’s information, good things about Cuba, include the Cuban people in general, the country itself, the concentration upon “la familia”, concern for neighbours, and a desire to be released from the repression of the Castro communist regime. All of those factors appear regularly in the content of articles and contributions to Havana Times.

  • .. I’d like to ask the “Havana times” :
    You ALWAYS print nothing but VENEMOUS, POISONOUS news about Cuba !

    Is there something .. ONE THING GOOD, in socialist Cuba ???

    ONE thing ISSS good about your website, I MUST admit:
    IT saves me buying LAXATIVES !!!

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