Cuba Raises Minimum Wage to $16 USD a Month

By Circles Robinson

Guarding the ration’s store.  Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – There’s a widely used saying in Cuba that state workers pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay them.  Few people believe the announcement of minor wage increases on Friday will alter that relationship.

Under the plan announced by President Miguel Diaz Canel, the government will step up controls to keep consumer prices from rising both for products and services in the state and private sectors, noted the Communist Party’s Cubadebate website.

The new minimum monthly wage was set at 400 pesos (US $16.00), said the president.  He further noted that an average salary would go up from $24 a month to $42 a month.  Pensions below $20 will also get an undisclosed boost, he said.

The president noted that a top-level University Professor would now receive 1,700 pesos (US $68 a month and the lowest level university educator would receive the equivalent of $56 dollars a month.

He added that government journalists, whose basic salary was only $15.50 a month, will now receive in the neighborhood of $50 a month.

Throughout 2019, Cuba has been suffering growing shortages for many basic products due to slumping national production and a lack of money in the government coffers for imports. Diaz Canel and the Council of Ministers hope the wage hike will stimulate the nation’s economy “at a time of increased hostility from the United States against Cuba.”

It’s noteworthy that when the economy was a little stronger, wages were virtually frozen, and the wage increase comes at a time of growing crisis for Cuban families.

Diaz Canel called on citizens, businesses and institutions “to be creative to confront the genocidal US blockade, and resolve our obstacles and inabilities, which people call the internal blockade.”

He said more information on the salary increases would be forthcoming.

3 thoughts on “Cuba Raises Minimum Wage to $16 USD a Month

  • Too bad Cuba does not have a more vigorous ‘ Fiat money ‘ capacity. You have to be a member of The Big Leagues for that. On the other hand their debt is minute compare to that of The Big Leaguers.

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  • Is this a joke or what? I’ve been to Cuba many times including in recent years and I saw how far $16 can go in one evening let alone in a month. Some will rush to say “but they have free education and free health care” (albiet very deteriorated which is for anyone to see at the non-tourist hospitals and the schools). My question is can you eat education or health care? Can you put them on your feet or back? Will they fix your crumbling apartment wall? A raise to $16 a month isn’t going to make the economy boom or even lift up. And with all the shortages of basic products more controls will never work to stop inflation. Moral of the story: The joke is on anyone gullable enough to believe things are going to improve because of this wage increase.

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    • ….not to mention the inflationary effect an increase in wages will have without a compensating increase in labor productivity. More national money on the street chasing the same or smaller supply of goods and services almost guarantees an increase in inflation. Venezuela did the same thing a few years ago. How did it work out for them?

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