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Hope everyone and their families are doing well. Read and article in The Miami Herald's Spanish version (El Nuevo Herald) about some new changes to the CUC. The Cuban government is requiring locals to turn in USD in order to purchase items at state owned stores. A debit card will be used for transactions. There wont be any cash transactions in many of these stores. The 10% fee for the USD (or whatever their formula was) will be removed. My guess is that the CUC was losing value on the parallel markets and intermediaries were making their percentages. Many stores that officially did not take dollars, always had an employee who had a friend who could help you out. Now I did not read what official information will be regarding tourists or other currencies besides the USD. The Cuban peso will still circulate, it can be used in paladares, casa particulares, taxis, local farmers markets or other small markets (souvenirs, or locals open markets) but it cant be used in the larger state owned stores. The idea is that they don't want the employees handling cash. CUC's wont be necessary for when you go down the next time but how you go about purchasing things as a tourist hasn't been published. To give you an idea, locals have to go to the bank (stand in line), set up an account and wait for their bank card possibly weeks. I don't see how they could do anything similar to us. Did not see anything in English but am sure in the next few days it will become public in other medias. John

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Reading some subsequent articles posted from CubaCute the CUC will continue to circulate at .97 as it is "more valuable" than the dollar.That is to say that at a CADECA (exchange house) or hotel if you wanted CUC's just for fun you would get 97 CUC for your $100 US. At the moment the street value is around $1.30 as there is nothing coming in from the rest of the world. It is my guess that if you are allowed to buy anything in USD they will give you change in CUC and at .97. If you have too many CUC on your way home you can exchange them back to Euros at the airport for up to 300 CUC. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks @JohnnyO great info.

Your statement, "The idea is that they don't want the employees handling cash" is particularly salient as they are attempting remove their currency from the populous. It's certainly a microscope into the techniques to limit wealth. 


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Latest info on CUC I’m getting is it’ll be gone in 4-5 months. They’ll accept CUC (or USD) for exchange and hand you CUP (Pesos) as is my understanding. I’m also told when exchanging CUC the rate won’t be as favorable as it once was. They’ll also be a grace period for a while where CUC can be exchanged.

It’s Cuba, so all info is of course fluid.

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Last evening 12/10 President Diaz-Canel announced in a special television broadcast that the long awaited currency unification will take place on January 1, 2021. 

The move was presented as neccessary to remove friction from the Cuban monetary system which will make it easier to attract foreign investment. 

The CUC will continue to be circulated for 180 days from January 1, 2021 but there were no details on how or if CUCs in circulation can be redeemed after the 180 day window.

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