Cuba Economics

Cuba Economics

Money is a problem in Cuba.  There is a lack of it.  As a tourist I had to convert dollars to what they call the CUC.  It is a Cuban tourist peso, unlike the pesos the Cubans use.  I received 80 CUC’s for $100, but when I left Cuba I was returned the full amount in exchange.  The monthly salaries range from $20 to $30 per month.  Doctors earn about $40 per month.  Jobs  in the tourist trade are much desired.  A chambermaid at a resort hotel makes much more than that with tips.  Everyone in Cuba receives a ration book which allows them to purchase food from the state owned stores.  They are allotted a specified amount of staples – cooking oil, sugar, rice, beans, flour.  There are markets which sell fresh produce but the prices are higher than the company stores.  There were few beggars.  Most of them were elderly.  The restaurants are owned by the state and the food is a failure.  Paladors are now quite common.  A palador is a restaurant in a home.  The homeowner receives the benefits and the food is quite good.  I dined one evening in a palador in the Miramar section of Havana.  The home was on the beach with a swimming pool.  There were four of us.  My daughter ordered rabbit and swears it was the best rabbit she has ever eaten.  One of our party ordered lobster.  It too was fresh and delicious.  I ordered lamb, a delicate stew.  The price of the entre’s was around $20.