Cuban economist predicts ‘Day Zero’ for currency merger

havana-live- Merge SignHAVANA,  20 Junio  (By Vito Echevarría)  A leading Cuban economist believes “Day Zero” of currency unification for businesses and government institutions is just a few months away. Pavel Vidal, a former Central Bank economist who currently teaches at the Pontífica Universidad Javeriana in Calí, Colombia, raised eyebrows at a recent conference in New York when he said he believes that a key step in one of Raúl Castro’s most dramatic economic reforms — the unification of the Cuban peso for companies and government institutions — is approaching at the beginning of 2015 (the currency merger for consumers in the Cuba government’s step-by-step approach will occur at a later date).
The topic that stirred most interest during a conference on Cuba in late May at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York was the future of the Cuban peso and its impact on living standards, as well as on foreign investment. For more than 20 years, the country has lived under a two-currency system, with local workers being paid in Cuban pesos (CUP) (worth about 24 pesos to the dollar), while many goods and services are available only in convertible Cuban pesos (CUC) (pegged more or less on par with the dollar).
Foreign investors operate almost exclusively with the CUC. Cuba’s Ministry of Finance and Prices (MFP) published a series of resolutions on the future of the Cuban peso in the Gaceta Oficial last March, and mentioned a Día Cero as the time when the dual currency system will be eliminated for businesses and government institutions. But it didn’t provide a date.
http://www.cubastandard.com/2014/06/19/cuban-economist-predicts-day-zero-for-currency-merger/