The Dollar Gains Strength in Cuba / Ivan Garcia

Ivan Garcia, 4 January 2016 — José Manual Cordoví keeps his savings in a rusty cookie tin. He runs a business forging windows, doors and iron in a suburb of low hovels in Arroyo Naranjo, a municipality 40 minutes by car from the heart of Havana. Cordoví has no relatives or friends who are close … Continue reading “The Dollar Gains Strength in Cuba / Ivan Garcia”

Early Farewell to the CUC / 14ymedio, Miriam Celaya

14ymedio, Miriam Celaya, Havana, 29 January 2015 — It was barely 10:00 am Wednesday, January 28th, and the currency exchange (CADECA) at Belascoaín had no national currency (CUP)*. One of the tellers explained that he had only several 50 peso bills and that was it until the “cash truck” arrived.  Some customers, leaving because they could not transact business, … Continue reading “Early Farewell to the CUC / 14ymedio, Miriam Celaya”

In the End, How Much is My Money Worth? / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

The Cuban population has no idea of the real worth of a Cuban peso. So many private taxi drivers, like the pioneers of money devaluation–the state snack bars–never stop annoying people with measures outside any legal range. If the government pays you 24 Cuban pesos (CUPs) for one Cuban convertible peso (CUC), and sells you … Continue reading “In the End, How Much is My Money Worth? / Anddy Sierra Alvarez”

Now People Don’t Want the “Chavitos” (CUCs) / Alberto Mendez Castello

Currency speculation has the island on the edge of mental collapse. Monday with which to pay wages is scarce. Peso equivalents to the dollar aren’t sold. Informal money changes want real dollars. Puerto Padre, Cuba — The State Currency Exchange (CADECA) resumed the sale of convertible pesos (CUC) today, after some interrupted for lack of … Continue reading “Now People Don’t Want the “Chavitos” (CUCs) / Alberto Mendez Castello”

A Conversation with the Consul General of the United States in Cuba / Ivan Garcia

Timothy P Roche, U.S. Consul General in Cuba The old United States embassy in Havana, today the headquarters of the United States Interest Section (USIS, also known as SINA for its Spanish acronym), is a seven-story building with a surfeit of glass windows located a stone’s throw from the Malecon. Built in 1953 and designed … Continue reading “A Conversation with the Consul General of the United States in Cuba / Ivan Garcia”

The Holes in the Belt / Fernando Damaso

Photo: Rebeca Two upsetting phenomena have occurred in the last few weeks: some products have disappeared from the market stalls, both those selling in Cuban pesos and those selling in hard currency, and prices overall have gone up. Cleaning products on sale for Cuban pesos don’t exist or are scarce, and personal hygiene products are … Continue reading “The Holes in the Belt / Fernando Damaso”

The Cuban Economy in 2013 and Perspectives for 2014 / Miriam Leiva

The Council of Ministers met on December 19-20 in conjunction with the National Assembly of People’s Power, to hear information about the fulfillment of the 2013 Economic Plan, approve the Plan for 2014, and the draft State Budget for the coming year, and to release the report about the compliance with the Party’s Political, Economic … Continue reading “The Cuban Economy in 2013 and Perspectives for 2014 / Miriam Leiva”

Cuba: The Other Embargo / Ivan Garcia

Although you can fly coach from Miami to Havana in less than forty-five minutes, the customs duties and price of an airline ticket are enough to give you a heart attack. For Cuban residents living in Florida, it is probably cheaper to travel to Europe than to visit their relatives. The Castro regime has a … Continue reading “Cuba: The Other Embargo / Ivan Garcia”

Raul Castro: Seven Years of Governing / Ivan Garcia

Giving an accounting of their administration was never among the priorities of the Castro brothers. The modern caudillos are considered beyond good and evil. Indeed, Fidel Castro managed the nation like a private bodega, with outlandish economic plans, bypassing the state budget, bleeding its finances, material resources and human lives sacrificed in civil wars in … Continue reading “Raul Castro: Seven Years of Governing / Ivan Garcia”

Cuba: The Time to Fill the Jails Came Again / Ivan Garcia #Cuba

Trying to analyze the strategy of the Castro brothers is an exercise in pure abstraction. Their way of moving tokens on the political board tends to go against logic. The incarceration of 75 dissidents ordered by Fidel Castro in the spring of 2003 was a miscalculation.Foreign pressure led General Raul Castro to correct the error. … Continue reading “Cuba: The Time to Fill the Jails Came Again / Ivan Garcia #Cuba”

The Cry of a Mourner / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

The architects of the quagmire that is the Cuban economy now claim that the country will not be in a position to raise workers’ salaries until there is first a convincing increase in the level of worker productivity. At first glance this would seem reasonable. Anyone unaware of the island’s economic twists and turns would … Continue reading “The Cry of a Mourner / Jeovany Jimenez Vega”

Lines, Sweat and Tears / Rebeca Monzo

Lately I have been making travel arrangements, representing the son of a friend who lives abroad, for whom she’s given me legal power of attorney because he is still a minor of 17, though he has been serving his military service since he was 16. Doing this, I’ve been able to learn two very important … Continue reading “Lines, Sweat and Tears / Rebeca Monzo”

Economic Transformations, Property Rights, and Cuba’s Current Constitution / Estado de Sats, Antonio Rodiles

By Antonio Rodiles Introduction The Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party just concluded, leaving a trail of questions to be clarified. Most of the televised debates turned into semantic discussions, while a few dealt with practical mechanisms to achieve stated objectives. Listening to the speeches, which at some moments were limited exclusively to mentioning … Continue reading “Economic Transformations, Property Rights, and Cuba’s Current Constitution / Estado de Sats, Antonio Rodiles”

No more deception, FREEDOM NOW / Oswaldo Payá

The government representing the military regime has denied Cubans the universal right to travel freely for more than half a century and still denies this right without any clear prospects towards change. With the greatest cruelty, it has torn millions of Cuban families apart and it still does. Government spokesmen have speculated for months about possible immigration changes and some, as President of the National … Continue reading “No more deception, FREEDOM NOW / Oswaldo Payá”

What 100 Dollars Can Buy in 2011 Cuba / Iván García

Rigoberto still remembers the smell of the green bills sent monthly from his brother in New Jersey. “They were so stiff you could stand them up in a line one behind the other. With those 250 dollars he sent me, you could buy almost twice as much as now,” he remembers, coming out of the … Continue reading “What 100 Dollars Can Buy in 2011 Cuba / Iván García”