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How was the beginning of the sale of foreign currency in three Havana cadecas?


This Tuesday, August 23, the sale of foreign currency began in 37 cadecas throughout the country, as part of the implementation of the foreign exchange market. At the Round Table on Monday 22, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández, and the Minister President of the Central Bank of Cuba, Marta Sabina Wilson González, explained the operation of this exchange mechanism that complements the purchase of currencies, initiated on August 4.

Cubadebate visited three Havana cadecas (Mónaco, 23 and J, and 21 and 42) that began selling foreign currency to natural persons this Tuesday.

At the Monaco exchange house, the administrative provincial deputy director of Cadeca S.A. in Havana, Milagros Hernández González, commented that the demand “will always be greater than the supply”, because that establishment sells foreign currency to the extent that it is received.

“The availability we have, that is what is going to be sold to the population,” stressed Hernández González.

The purchase of foreign currency –acknowledged the Cadeca official– was carried out with the aim of “equipping ourselves with the currency to reach this moment”.

Although the workers of the Mónaco cadeca, in Diez de Octubre, were prepared to start operations, and tickets made in the establishment had been distributed to organize the queue, the sale of foreign currency was delayed until 9:20 a.m. due to software problems.

Susana Mérida, the third in line at Monaco, stated that the sale of foreign currency “is a measure that we have been waiting for a long time, because there are really many people on the street selling it at outlandish prices, and we always hope that the State, which the Government, was going to sell it much cheaper”.

The rate for the sale of dollars this Tuesday is 123.6 CUP.

Mérida declared that “I wish they would make it much cheaper, because going from 25 that cost a dollar to now, which is 120, is quite a lot, but it is also more expensive on the street. Since the government didn’t sell it, then you had nowhere to buy it and you had to buy it on the street. And, well, what remedy to buy it here. There is more security.”

She went to the cadeca because she needs to buy dollars to travel to Panama.

The possibility that the coleros control the queue at the Monaco exchange house is another issue that worries Susana Mérida.

“The man who was in front of me did not come to buy, he marked for two people who are the ones in front of me, and I got up at four in the morning to come here. We must take into account the fight against coleros, “she said.

For Adrián Robles, who was waiting to buy euros in order to transfer them to an MLC card, the sale is going to help the value of foreign currency go down in the informal market, but only if that operation is maintained.

“People who are going to leave the country, who need a certain amount of money, are not going to stand in this queue. If you need 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000, you are not going to stand in line, just bring your family”, he commented.

At the exchange house on 23rd and J, in Vedado, the provincial director of Cadeca, Kenia Meza López, said that during the morning “everything has gone very well and as planned, because the information was given to the population with the time, we gave him all the explanation of the currencies we have today and the number of customers we could serve”.

The workers planned to deliver 190 shifts for the day at that establishment.

Estrella Delgado arrived at the Vedado cadeca at five in the morning to buy foreign currency and later transfer it in a bank to an MLC account, in order to purchase basic necessities.

“Regarding the measure, I think it is important that there is a sales capacity for the population, but I think it does not really solve the problem, because there is no correspondence between wages and prices, since there is a lot of inflation in the country. ”, Delgado pointed out.

She also compared the rate of sale of euros (125.1 CUP) with the minimum pension, around 1,500 pesos, and with her salary as a professional, which does not reach 5,000 pesos. “I wouldn’t buy thirty-odd dollars from you,” she said.

The provincial director of Cadeca, Kenia Meza López, referred to the low number of ATMs that worked this day, a situation that affected the speed of service in the three exchange houses visited.

At 23rd and J, two cashiers served the population, however, at the Mónaco cadeca and 21st and 42nd, only one worked.

Meza López said that the cause is the fluctuation of personnel that Cadeca had during the covid.

“Unfortunately, a Cadeca cashier is not trained in a day, but takes preparation. We are working on that, in September there is another course, we have published the call for those interested in occupying the places on the network, but we are working with the tellers that we have at the moment”, she explained.

The cadeca of 21 and 42, in the Playa municipality, distributed 91 shifts before starting the service at 8:30 a.m.

(By Ana Álvarez Guerrero, Darío A. Extremera Peregrín y Abel Padrón Padilla/Cubadebate)

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