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Cuba’s Currencies: CUP and CUC vs. USD

 If there was something people couldn’t talk about when I was a little girl, it was the dollar. Only foreigners could buy things in this currency. If anyone was caught with green bills in their pocket, they would be sent to jail.

Soon after, in 1993, the dollar was decriminalized, and finally, Cubans with family members living abroad could receive financial aid.

Then, the CUC (Convertible Cuban Peso) came along, which is nothing but another official currency in our country. That was when the three currencies – CUP, CUC and USD – began to circulate. The State opened new stores, where you could only purchase items in CUC and USD.

Soon after, the CUC gradually began to replace the US dollar, and the latter finally stopped circulating.

Up until very recently, just a couple of years, you could only buy things in these markets or stores in CUC, but, today, you can pay with both of the national currencies. This means to say that if you are going to buy a bottle of cooking oil, which costs 1.95 CUC, then you can pay for it in this currency or its equivalent in CUP, which in the case of cooking oil would be 50 CUP.

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