Cuba to sell cars in tradeable currency as dollarization gains pace

HAVANA, Feb. 7th The Cuban authorities announced Thursday that the population will be able to import cars as soon as possible, as part of a group of measures to raise foreign currency and boost the economy. In the usual television program “Round Table”, the first vice president of the Cemex corporation, Iset Vázquez, said that the commercialization of vehicles to natural persons will begin next February 24, in principle only in Havana, in establishments of the network of stores that operate in freely convertible currency (MLC).

Sales will be made by magnetic card (not in cash), the same system applied in these establishments since its opening last October.

Vázquez stressed the possibility that interested parties can order the purchase of vehicles and also specific engines through companies that import from the State.

The sale of vehicles released to the population was put into effect in 2014 by means of the “convertible” peso CUC, which circulates on the island alongside the Cuban peso (CUP) and is quoted for 24 units of the national currency, although in the companies and state entities a CUC is equal to a CUP.

The Minister of Transportation, Eduardo Rodríguez, added that “although the new measure will not have a direct impact on most of the town, it will contribute to improving public transport.”

Private cars, he said, have always been the subject of much debate, because it is an aspiration to have a car, especially since public transport does not meet existing demand.

Since its opening, the network of stores in MLC, which already has more than 80 establishments throughout the country, markets medium and high-end household and automotive equipment, with a high demand for freezers and electric motorcycles that in some places exceeded the offer.

As reported in the television space, other products such as security systems, electric generators, heaters, cold rooms, minibars, laptops and computer parts and pieces have been incorporated.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil, stressed that in the past three months, the strategy has proven its validity, has had “very good results” and should be maintained as it is “a measure that does not affect anyone and it benefits everyone. ”