The Cuban official press has provided wide coverage for the sale of equipment in freely convertible currency that began last October in certain stores in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. By enabling a magnetic card containing a balance in US dollars, people can purchase televisions, refrigerators, freezers and other home appliances, as well as parts and pieces of motorcycles and cars.

If we take into account the short time elapsed from the moment the mechanism that guides these sales was announced, and the financial restrictions faced by the Cuban Government to undertake massive imports, anyone could imagine that those items were stored in the country before That commercialization will begin.

The large influx of public to the stores selected for these sales, which has led to endless queues in some of these establishments, confirms the high demand of these equipment that the population has.

Then, given that evidence, the following question would fit: why precisely now is it that the Cuban rulers have decided to revitalize the use of the dollar to the detriment of the convertible Cuban peso (CUC)?

It must be remembered that the CUC emerged in the 90s of the "Special Period", when the Island urgently needed dollars to mitigate the economic crisis it suffered after the disappearance of the Soviet Union. From that moment on, foreign currencies had to be exchanged to CUC to be able to buy in the currency collection stores (TRD) – of course, much better stocked than those offered in national currency (CUP) – that the Government had enabled for such effects.

It happens that the exchange of foreign currency is not the only way to access the CUC, because in the Exchange Houses (CADECA) the population can buy that currency through the use of the CUP, at the rate of 1CUC = 25CUP. In that sense they were currencies that the Cuban rulers were no longer capturing if they continued to offer the most demanded merchandise through payment in CUC.

It is assumed that the main source of Cuban citizens to access foreign currencies – in addition to the US dollar may be the euro, the yen and the Canadian dollar, among others – are remittances from abroad. This results in a deepening of the differentiation between Cubans on the Island. That is, between those who have relatives abroad and receive remittances, and those who do not have such help.
A situation that, of carambola, would affect the Afro-descendant population of the Island, since the Cuban diaspora is mostly made up of white-skinned people. It is, not to doubt it, a reality that could cause more of a headache to the authorities, especially if we consider that even in the bosom of the ruling party – remember the José Antonio Aponte Commission of the UNEAC – multiple voices are raised against of any marginalization towards blacks and mestizos.

In the practical order, this possibility of acquiring items by means of magnetic cards in freely convertible currency (MLB) only complicates the monetary circulation in the country. Instead of eliminating monetary duality, we now attend a kind of monetary triad, as the CUP and the CUC are circulating.

To conclude, we could add that this sudden supply of certain stores with high demand and superior quality items that had been offered at CUC so far, fuels the suspicions of those who do not rule out the existence of state reserves in warehouses, even at coast of the needs of the population.

. (tagsToTranslate) Dollar (t) Economy (t) Stores

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