Dual currency in Cuba

The Cuban government has decided to abandon the dual currency system. There are now two currencies in Cuba, one for foreign tourists (CUC) and one for locals (CUP); the CUC is four times more expensive than the CUP and tourists must use the CUC.

When I travelled to Cuba, I was confused by this double standard. I had no problem with CUC being used in restaurants for tourists, but I had a problem in a Cuban-style sandwich shop in a shopping street used by locals. The shop only showed the local price without any currency unit. The dual system totally slipped my mind and I paid in CUC. The shop assistant nonchalantly gave me the change in CUP without currency conversion. After a while, I realised the unfairness of it, but it was too late. It’s a fond memory, though.

I have not yet checked the pros and cons of the dual currency, but in any case, it seems that the dual currency will be abolished.


¶Cuba on December 12 announced that it will unify the Cuban peso and the Cuban convertible peso as one currency, and put an end to the decades-old dual currency system effective January 1, 2021. […] Full text is here. Referenced from Republic World, 13 December, 2020