14ymedio, Havana, February 10, 2024 — The dollar reached the barrier of 300 Cuban pesos this Saturday and was on par with the euro in the informal currency market, according to the independent media El Toque. The accelerated degradation of the national currency is due to the increase in uncertainty created by the swings of the paquetazo [a ’package’ of economic reforms] and the Government’s inability to modify the economic model that is leading the country to disaster.
The increase suggests a greater demand for the dollar than for the euro among Cubans, despite the fact that the European currency is quoted at 1.08 dollars in international financial markets.
The collapse of the peso occurs less than two weeks after the dismissal of the Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil, and the announcement of an imminent “intervention” of the informal market about which he did not offer details.
However, after Gil’s departure and the suspension of part of the measures included in the paquetazo, the regime’s financial “macrostabilization” plan came to nothing and the “distortions” that the minister attributed to the informal exchange market remain in force.
Another aspect of the problem is the instability of the remittances that Cubans residing abroad send to their relatives on the Island
Another aspect of the problem is the instability of the remittances that Cubans residing abroad send to their relatives. relatives on the Island. For 11 days, the American financial company Western Union has been trying to resume its operations “as soon as possible,” which remain suspended as of today. The company’s Director of Communications, Brad Jones, assured 14ymedio that his company “is trying to contact customers affected by the interruption of service to propose the return of their transfers.”
“Western Union is experiencing technical difficulties in the processing portion of our operations that have caused a temporary suspension of services between the US and Cuba. The company is supporting its counterpart [the Cuban financial company Orbit] to resume services between the two countries as soon as possible,” he added.
The problems with making transfers from abroad, exclusively to the Island, were not only occurring from the United States, but from other countries, and not only with Western Union, but with other platforms, such as Cuballama or Cubatel.
On Wednesday, January 31, one day before the main economic measures agreed by the Government last December came into force, the authorities decided to cancel them, citing “a cybersecurity incident.”
The next day, without mentioning this “incident” or the remittances, Banco Metropolitano released a statement in which it warned that it was having “technical difficulties” that affected “branch services and those associated with technological payment channels.”
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