The government closed the exchange booths in the airport’s departure lounges, allowing travelers to exchange up to $ 300 at the official rate of 24 Cuban pesos to the dollar, about double the market rate. black in the interior of the country.
This leaves little choice for outgoing visitors but to spend the pesos they bought before leaving the country.
State-owned exchange company Cadeca said the measure was due to a drastic drop in tourism during the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lack of hard currency.
The hard currency rush has accelerated due to a reform eliminating a “convertible peso” whose value was pegged to the dollar and which some Cubans could access, as well as the opening of new stores that only sell in dollars – or with credit cards backed by hard currencies.
“We must recognize this problem which is present in the economy”, declared Thursday the Minister of Economy Alejandro Gil, while assuring that the official exchange rate would remain at 24 to 1.