[Marxism] Is Cuba Done with Equality? Not so!

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Jul 17 05:15:22 MDT 2008

There's no such rule that the convertibles (CUC) are the only currency
tourists are supposed to use. Any person can use either currency when
whichever is appropriate. In this case, the vendor was simply giving
the correct change, since the ice cream at that location was being
sold in moneda nacional, regular Cuban pesos. Offering to pay for an
item which is sold in moneda nacional with CUC simply means that an
honest vendor - of whom there are more than a few, has to calculate
and give the proper change. No biggie. 

Regular and convertible pesos are exchanged at the exising rate in
changing places (CADECAS), or by vendors. 

By the way, most newspapers, like Granma and Juventud Rebelde, which
are eight-page tabloids, have a cover price of twenty CENTAVOS, which
is less than one single penny U.S. or Canadian. That is the price one
is supposed to pay for it at a kiosk. What really happens is that the
individual vendors buy bundles at forty centavos per copy from the
kiosk workers, and then resell them at one peso, making a "profit" 
of sixty centavos per copy. All of this in moneda nacional. This is
one way that older people who have no other incomes supplement their 
meager pensions. 

Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California
On the first day of my most recent visit to Cuba this last March, 
I was in a farmers' market in Vedado, Havana. A woman was selling ice
cream for a posted price of $1. I gave her one CUC (the only currency
tourists are supposed to use). At first she refused to take it, then
reconsidered and laboriously counted out 23 pesos in change (and then
refused my proffered tip!). I found that the pesos were handy later
on for purchasing newspapers, at 1 peso each, for example.

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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