The Adventure of Opening an Account in Cuba in MLC (Hard Currency)

14ymedio, Elías Amor Bravo, Economist, July 26, 2020 – Imagine that you’re going to your bank to open an account. One of the simplest operations in any country in the world. You really could save yourself the trouble, if you want, because online banks offer a way to do that. In Cuba, it’s more complicated, … Continue reading “The Adventure of Opening an Account in Cuba in MLC (Hard Currency)”

Santiago de Cuba Stops the Sale of Food in Pesos and Dollars From Friday to Sunday

14ymedio, Francisco Herodes Díaz Echemendía, Santiago De Cuba , 15 January 2021 —  All state and private businesses that surround La Plaza de Santiago de Cuba dawned this Friday completely closed. The shopping center, one of the three that sell food products in freely convertible currency (MLC) in the eastern city, has had its doors closed since the … Continue reading “Santiago de Cuba Stops the Sale of Food in Pesos and Dollars From Friday to Sunday”

It Smells Like Cheese, But It’s Not Cheese

14ymedio, Havana, 5 January 2021– El Paisa made his living until a few months ago by bringing milk, cheese, butter and yogurt from a town in Güira, Artemisa, to Havana. His clients were about twenty families scattered around the tall buildings that surround the train station on Tulipán Street, in Nuevo Vedado. The business that … Continue reading “It Smells Like Cheese, But It’s Not Cheese”

“This Year the Three Kings Cannot Satisfy the Requests of the Children” in Cuba

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 6 January 2021 — After a week of lining up for oil, chicken, detergent and shampoo, Idania Herrera has very little desire to stand in another line. But Three Kings Day is more important than any fatigue and the little ones await their gift. “I am tormented, I can’t find anything for … Continue reading ““This Year the Three Kings Cannot Satisfy the Requests of the Children” in Cuba”

Despair Grows in Santiago de Cuba with the Closure of Commercial Areas

14ymedio, Francisco Herodes Díaz Echemendía, Santiago de Cuba, 4 January 2021 — The Santa Bárbara Popular Council, one of the most commercial and busiest areas of the city of Santiago de Cuba, has been in quarantine since this Sunday due to the increase in the numbers of people infected by Covid-19. Some 4,123 inhabitants were … Continue reading “Despair Grows in Santiago de Cuba with the Closure of Commercial Areas”

In 2020 the Cuban Regime Suffered its First Defeats

14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 31 December 2020 — What happened in Cuba throughout this year can be related in a fragmentary way through a chronology, but the most important did not begin in January 2020, but on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, when the President of the Republic, to calm the citizenry, advised that on the … Continue reading “In 2020 the Cuban Regime Suffered its First Defeats”

From the Hard Currency Store to the Cuban Black Market, the New Informal Supply Route

14ymedio, Havana, 20 December 2020 — As he leaves the store, he passes the magnetic card to his sister who is still waiting in line. Not only do they share the form of payment in La Arcada, a foreign exchange business on Havana Boulevard, but they also share the profits from the informal resale of … Continue reading “From the Hard Currency Store to the Cuban Black Market, the New Informal Supply Route”

Red Carpet for Dollars, Service Entrance for Pesos

14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguea, Havana, 14 December 2020 — When the Plaza de Carlos III shopping mall in downtown Havana opened on Monday, there was a special entrance for customers with foreign currency. They were allowed to enter a home appliance store through the front door. Those who wanted to buy products with Cuban pesos were … Continue reading “Red Carpet for Dollars, Service Entrance for Pesos”

Price Controls Put an End to Sandwiches, Pizzas and Soft Drinks in Artemisa

14ymedio, Bertha K. Guillén, Candalaria, December 10, 2020 — After months-long closures due to the pandemic, private businesses in Artemisa province have a new problem: the imposition of price controls on many of the foods they offer in their cafes. Provincial authorities have ordered price caps on items such as pizzas, sandwiches and peanut nougat. “In … Continue reading “Price Controls Put an End to Sandwiches, Pizzas and Soft Drinks in Artemisa”

January 1st is the Date Set for Currency Unification in Cuba

14ymedio, Havana, December 10, 2020 — One of the most frequently asked questions in Cuba in recent years has finally been answered: currency unification will begin January 1, 2021, putting an end to the Cuban convertible peso* (CUC). The date was announced by President Miguel Díaz-Canel during a special broadcast on national television. It will be … Continue reading “January 1st is the Date Set for Currency Unification in Cuba”

Wanted by Everyone, Caught by Few, Cuban Rice is Now for Sale in Dollars

14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 8 December 2020 — Until recently, coffee shops advertised “rice with steak”, “congrí (black beans and rice) and yucca,” “yellow rice with sausage,” and other combinations where the grain reigned, as it does in every Cuban table. But the product, missing from the unrationed market, is now only found on the black market … Continue reading “Wanted by Everyone, Caught by Few, Cuban Rice is Now for Sale in Dollars”

Dollar Stores Subsidize Social Justice, Says Cuba’s Economy Minister

14ymedio, December 4, 2020 — Economy and Planning Minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez appeared on Thursday’s “Roundtable” State TV program in an effort to calm the growing popular discontent over hard-currency stores. His words, however, had the opposite effect. The minister’s statements outraged many Cubans, who expressed disagreement on the streets and in social media. Most … Continue reading “Dollar Stores Subsidize Social Justice, Says Cuba’s Economy Minister”

Soldiers Deployed to Guard Hard Currency Stores

14ymedio, Havana, December 1, 2020 — The areas around several Havana stores have been under heavy guard by military and special forces troops since Monday when windows in one of the stores were smashed. Purchases at these stores, known locally as MLCs (the Spanish initials for “Freely Convertible Currency”), can only be made with foreign currency, … Continue reading “Soldiers Deployed to Guard Hard Currency Stores”

Slogans Against Cuban ‘Dollar Stores’ Painted on Walls in Cienfuegos

14ymedio, Luis Daniel Fernández Monzón, Havana, 5 December 2020 — Several graffiti appearing on the walls in the small city of Cruces, in Cienfuegos province, surprised  the town’s inhabitants on Thursday. “Down with the dictatorship,” “We want the dollar stores closed,” and “Long Live Free Cuba, down with Dias [sic… it should be ‘Diaz’] Canel,” … Continue reading “Slogans Against Cuban ‘Dollar Stores’ Painted on Walls in Cienfuegos”

In Cuba Inflation is Oval and Comes in an Egg Carton

14ymedio, Havana, 4 November 2020 — After looking for eggs for two weeks, Leonel has no choice but to accept the law of the street and pay more than five pesos for each one. “I just bought a carton of 30 eggs for 175 pesos, each one is more than 5.80 [Cuban pesos, roughly 25¢ … Continue reading “In Cuba Inflation is Oval and Comes in an Egg Carton”