Cuba’s central bank on Thursday quashed rumors that it would withdraw one of the Communist-run island’s two currencies from circulation over the weekend, after nervous Cubans had rushed in recent days to exchange their CUCs for pesos.
The date for the start of the much-anticipated process of so-called “monetary unification” has not yet been determined, the bank added in a statement published by state-run media.
“In the last few days the number of people seeking to change CUCs into pesos at bank offices and CADECAs (exchange bureaus) has risen,” the central bank said.
“This is due to the false information that in the next few days the CUC will be withdrawn from circulation.”
Neither are legal tender outside the country, which exchanges them at different rates depending on the nature of the transaction, complicating accounting, the evaluation of performance and trade for state companies.
Plans adopted by the Communist Party in 2011 under Raul Castro’s leadership to improve the performance of the ailing Soviet-style economy by introducing market mechanisms included currency unification. The peso, it said, would remain and the CUC would become history.
Castro will remain party chief until 2021.
The central bank on Thursday recalled the party’s decision at its last congress to guarantee bank deposits in accounts in foreign currencies, CUCs and pesos.