The elimination of sales in convertible pesos (CUC) in state-run commerce and gastronomy establishments is not related to monetary unification in Cuba, affirmed one of the deputy ministers of the Cuban Ministry of Domestic Trade (MINCIN), cited by the Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) news agency.
According to Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade Miriam Pérez, the measure made public days ago seeks “greater control” in the network of state-run gastronomic centers through the use of a single accounting record of the marketed products.
For his part, Yosvany Pupo, MINCIN general director of services, clarified to the press that the network that sold products in CUC was very limited in relation to the rest, which is why the scope of the measure is not as wide-ranging as some Internet users have commented on social networks.
Of the more than 7,000 bars, restaurants and other state-run establishments that provide gastronomic services, only 10% were authorized to sell in the two local currencies, says Granma newspaper.
— Comercio Cuba (@MincinCuba) March 4, 2020
Francisco Silva, MINCIN general director of sales, explained that the measure of authorizing a group of gastronomic and retail trade centers to sell products in CUC was due to the need, at that time, to generate budgets for expenses in that currency.
Only some products, such as soft drinks, rum, jams and ice cream were marketed only in CUC, so that consumers could pay different checks, in both currencies.
With the elimination of that monetary duality, the products that were sold in CUC will have the prices at the exchange rate of the official exchange houses (CADECAs), of 25 Cuban pesos (CUP) for a convertible one.
In the case of merchandise that had official prices established in CUP, they are again sold following those patterns. For example, the can of nationally produced soft drink, which was sold at 0.50 CUC, now costs 10 CUP, and not 12.50, as would correspond to the change in the CADECA.
The Ministry of Domestic Trade announced this weekend the elimination of sales in CUC, which seemed a new step towards the expected monetary unification, advocated by the island’s government. In this direction, measures had already been taken, such as the opening of new stores for sale in freely convertible currency, the elimination of payment in CUC at the border and an “experiment” in stores in Havana to give the change exclusively in CUP in stores that sell in convertible pesos.
However, according to the MINCIN, the measure of days ago does not follow this logic and it’s just a process of “improving the retail trade of local subordination.”