Cuba: a new year of changes and challenges

Havana, Jan 2.- The beginning of 2021 marks a new stage of challenges and changes for Cuba amid the United States blockade, the fight against Covid-19 and the start of the monetary overhaul.


Washington’s hostility was the main obstacle to Cuba’s development and compliance with the 2030 Agenda this year, according to the latest report presented by Cuba at the United Nations.

Between April 2019 and March 2020, the regulations and provisions issued by the US Government reached levels of hostility that can be considered unprecedented, with the possibility of establishing lawsuits under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the increase in the persecution of financial and commercial transactions and the campaign to discredit Cuban medical cooperation programs, among others, standing out.

The consequences proved to be worse in the context of the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which resulted in an additional pressure for the Public Health system by making it difficult to acquire materials, equipment and other supplies to save lives.

However, the country managed to face the pandemic successfully in 2020, ranking 124th on the list of nations affected by Covid-19 at the end of the year.

In this context, Cuba begins the task of overhauling the monetary system in order to provide the economy with a needed push, with the coming into force of the monetary and exchange unification.

The program is considered by the highest authorities of the country as essential, as it has an interdisciplinary nature, implies the elimination of excessive subsidies and undue gratuities and the transformation of income, among other measures.

As of January 1, the Cuban peso will rule as the only national currency, at an exchange rate of 24 pesos (CUP) to one US dollar, which implies the cessation of the circulation of the Cuban convertible peso (CUC).

In addition, 19 resolutions from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security are coming into force regarding salaries, pensions and social assistance benefits for a better redistribution of wealth, so that wage earners and pensioners improve their purchasing power.

The overhaul task also favors greater transparency in the relationships between the various economic stockholders, including non-state forms of management. (Prensa Latina)