Cuba’s Monetary Unification: Good or Bad?

Rosa Martinez

Cuba’s two currencies. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — On the morning of October 26, I woke up later than usual. My two little girls were sick and I had taken a day off work to look after and pamper them. That day I slept an extra hour, something I can’t even do on weekends.

I prepared myself a strong cup of coffee to boost my energy and take on the daily chores, which I don’t always enjoy (particularly cooking).

I turned on the TV to listen to the morning show Buenos Dias, as I always do, from the kitchen.

I went to the bathroom and was halfway through my shower when I heard a bit of news that struck me as extremely important.

It was a news piece having to do with Cuba’s two currencies and their use. I perked up my ears and managed to hear something about “monetary unification.”

In less than two seconds, my brain was already asking such questions as: “Will I get paid in Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC)?”, “How much will I start earning now?” and “Will my salary finally be enough to live on?”

I came running out of the bathroom to see the news piece up close. Though I managed only to hear a few statements, the closing ones, it was all very clear to me, I had understood the message perfectly well.

That same day a number of journalists for the noon and evening news tried to explain the essence of the note published by the newspaper Granma, dealing with the monetary unification process that will be gradually carried out in Cuba.

In the days that followed, Cuba’s media continued in their efforts to try and explain to the Cuban people what the monetary and exchange unification would consist of.

Very few explanations were needed, though, not even that of economist Ariel Terrero. Cubans had understood what the press note said perfectly well, and the average Joe knows that this change, for now, will not improve his life in the least.

It’s the same old story. The only difference is that, soon, the main characters will be able to pay for things in any of the two currencies. So, what’s so good about that? In the near future, people will finally pay for things using only one currency. Will the story have changed by then, or will it be more of the same?

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.