Sunday, January 15, 2017

Vicissitudes of Paying with Two Currencies

Vicissitudes of Paying with Two Currencies / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 15 January 2017 – In March of 2014 the experiment of
allowing customers to pay with Cuban pesos (CUP)* in hard currency
stores, which previously only accepted Cuban Convertible pesos (CUC),
began. The measure is being extended throughout the country and now
includes food services and hotel reservations. However, the scarcity of
small change has significantly affected the initiative.

There are no coins, nor pesos. Please cooperate," reads a sign next to
the cash register at this hardware store in Havana. In line, people
check their pockets to count out the exact change for a hose, a light
bulb, or a simple connector for the TV antennae. The worst are those who
pay with Cuban pesos, which almost always implies change in coins of
one, five or ten centavos in in CUC.

"Compañero, don't be so strict," the clerk pleads with a customer who is
protesting the difficulty. But then someone appears who pays with 25
centavo pieces in CUC for a brush that costs 3 CUC. Everyone breathes a
sigh of relief. At least this time they have managed to overcome the
obstacles of the dual currency system.

Source: Vicissitudes of Paying with Two Currencies / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba -

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