Cuba is to abolish its dual monetary system as the country pursues timid economic reform under new leader Raul Castro, a senior official said in an interview published Sunday.
The communist Caribbean island state operates with the convertible peso,worth just under a US dollar, and the national peso, worth far less.
Cubans are paid in national pesos but require convertible pesos to buy certain goods.
‘Cuba will reform its monetary system as quickly as possible,’ the head of the Cuban parliament’s economic commission, Osvaldo Martinez, told the Spanish daily El Pais.
‘The government’s policy is to eliminate the dual currency, which to some extent hurts the country’s self-esteem, but we need a minimum quantity of monetary reserves for a normal exchange rate, prices and wages reform and greater economic efficiency,’ he said.
Since succeeding his ailing brother Fidel, in February, Raul Castro has eased a number of the tight restrictions on Cuban life, including allowing citizens to own mobile phones, rent cars, stay in tourist hotels and buy modern electrical goods.
Most Cubans, however, can still not afford to pay for such luxuries.