Explaining Cuba’s two currencies, somewhat

By Caterina Wallace / Posted October 24, 2012

On a recent trip to Havana, I went with a friend by taxi to La Punta Fortress, under the tunnel to the east side of Havana’s harbour. To visit the Fortress, we entered a Parque Morro-Cabana.

Entry fee for the Parque was very reasonable – I paid just 1.00 CUC (Convertible Currency) = roughly $Cdn 1.00. My Cuban friend paid 1.00 CUP (National Currency) = roughly $0.04.

Cubans, but not tourists, can use the National Currency, valued at approximately 1:25 versus the CUC that we tourists use. Cubans must also use CUC’s for many purchases including imported good and many services.

The implications and mechanics of this dual currency system are beyond the scope of this small entry. But it was interesting to see the system in action as the two of us paid in decidedly different ways for the same park entry.

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Caterina Wallace