Currency in Cuba
Cuba is one of the few countries where two variants of the same currency are used at once, and both are called «cuban peso». The only difference is that one type is for domestic use only, while the other can be converted to another currency. Thus, the Cuban peso has two sides at once in the literal sense of the word and can be both internal and external currency denomination..
Interesting facts about the Cuban peso
The history of currency changes in Cuba can be divided into several periods, focusing on the degree of quotation of the US dollar:
- Use of a Spanish currency equal to the US dollar and an open relationship with the latter;
- The era of relations with the USSR and the complete prohibition of the American currency;
- Partial resumption of economic cooperation with America.
Cuban money has undergone quite serious changes in the process of its formation as a stable currency that would have weight in the international market. Until 1857, the Spanish colonial reals were used on the territory of the country, and in the same year the production of internal currency denominated in pesos began. Later, with the arrival of the USSR, the Soviet ruble became widespread, and the peso was banned for conversion due to America's blocking of sugar supplies and other sanctions against Cuba. During the 1993 crisis, the country's authorities returned to using the US dollar, but only for secondary purchases..
As an expression of respect for the partisan commandant, the War Hero - Che Guevara - in 1983, 3 peso banknotes were issued with the image of this outstanding personality. Later, coins of a similar denomination were also stylized, which are used to this day..
Currency exchange in Cuba
Currently, the most common currency used domestically remains the Cuban Peso (CUP). The second variation of Cuban money is the same peso, but subject to conversion (CUC), which is relevant mainly in the tourism sector, in relations with foreigners. CUP denominations are to be used in shops, cafes, banks and other areas of the life of the Cuban people and remain the most common in the country. Cuban citizens receive the bulk of their salary in this unit, while only a small part is paid in a convertible CUC.
The Cuban Peso CUC can be exchanged for other currencies at the bank branches, which are open on Friday from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm and from 1.30 pm to 3.00 pm, and on Saturday from 8.30 am to 10.30 am. Francs, dollars, pounds sterling and other monetary units can also be exchanged in almost all hotels. Thus, currency exchange in Cuba is quite free..
The use of credit cards is common, with the exception of those issued by any American bank. Payment with such cards is impossible, although money is exchanged for American dollars on a regular basis..