HAVANA, Dec. 27th So far, more than 10,000 debit cards linked to bank accounts in dollars and other international currencies have been issued to make purchases in the new establishments.Cuba will close 2019 with more than 40 stores selling in dollars in operation throughout the island, out of the 77 establishments planned by the government when it announced that economic measure last October, Granma newspaper reported this Wednesday.

Rosario Ferrer, commercial vice president of the state-owned Cimex Corporation, told the publication that so far the sales of splits and freezers “have tripled expectations, mainly in equipment with lower capacity and tonnage, which has caused certain intermittency in stocks.”

“Regarding the automotive stores, the most demanded have been electric motorcycles and tires, taking into account quality, warranty options, and prices,” said the official.

Ferrer also announced that they are considering incorporating other types of products that are in high demand, such as those related to personal care, computers, and car paint.

Fifteen years after the elimination of sales in dollars in the Cuban trade network, the island’s government is again selling a group of products in that currency in order to boost its economy, alleviate its financial difficulties and prevent the flight of foreign currency.

In these establishments, customers can only make their purchases through debit cards linked to bank accounts in USD and other foreign currencies.

So far, more than 10,000 such cards have been issued, according to Yamil Hernández, general manager of Fincimex, the entity responsible for guaranteeing that means of payment.

Hernández added that, in addition, Visa and MasterCard cards are accepted, as long as they are not issued by U.S. banks.

At the beginning of December, there were already more than 20 such stores operating on the island and, according to estimates published by Granma, before the end of the year, that number of establishments should double.

(Oncubanews)