|peso cubano (Spanish)|
A 3 peso banknote depicting Che Guevara
|ISO 4217 code||CUP|
|Central bank||Central Bank of Cuba|
|Symbol||$, ₱ or $MN|
|centavo||¢ or c|
|Freq. used||1c, 5¢, 20¢, $1, $3|
|Freq. used||$1, $3, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100|
The peso (ISO 4217 code: CUP, sometimes called the "national peso" or in Spanish moneda nacional) is one of two official currencies in use in Cuba, the other being the convertible peso (ISO 4217 code: CUC, occasionally referred to as "dollar" in spoken language). It is subdivided into 100 centavos.
Cuban state workers receive a portion of their wages in convertible pesos, the rest in national pesos. Shops selling basics, like fruit and vegetables, generally accept only the normal peso, while "dollar shops" sell the rest. The word "pesos" may refer to both non-convertible and convertible money. Cuban convertible pesos are 25 times more valuable, but this does not completely eliminate the confusion for tourists: since goods bought in national pesos have controlled prices, tourists are sometimes confused by prices perceived as "too cheap."
Before 1857, Spanish and Spanish colonial reales circulated in Cuba. From 1857, banknotes were issued specifically for use on Cuba. These were denominated in pesos, with 1 peso = 8 reales. From 1869, notes were also issued denominated in centavos, with 100 centavos = 1 peso. In 1881, the peso was pegged to the U.S. dollar at par. The currency continued to be issued only in paper form until 1915, when the first coins were issued.
In 1960, the peg to the dollar was replaced by one to the Soviet ruble. The peso lost value due to the United States embargo against Cuba and the suspension of the sugar quota. This suspension was the principal economical force driving Cuba to seek out a new economic partner, the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, the peso lost much of its value and the exchange rate fell to 125 pesos to the US dollar. Recently, it has become more valuable, fluctuating between 23 and 25 pesos to the US dollar.
In 1993, during the period of economic austerity known as the Special Period, the US dollar was made legal tender to encourage hard currency to enter the economy. The US dollar became the currency used to purchase some non-essential goods and services, such as cosmetics, and even non-staple kinds of food and drink. In 1994, the convertible peso was introduced at a par with the dollar. On November 8, 2004, the Cuban government withdrew the US dollar from circulation, citing the need to retaliate against further US sanctions.
In 1897 and 1898 pesos were issued by revolutionary forces promoting independence. In 1915, cupro-nickel 1, 2 and 5 centavos, silver 10, 20 and 40 centavos and 1 peso, and gold 1, 2, 4, 5, 10 and 20 peso coins were introduced. These coins were designed by Charles E. Barber, who also designed the Barber dimes, quarters, half dollars for the US. The coins were minted at the US mint at Philadelphia. The gold coins and 2 centavos were not produced after 1916, with the large star design 1 peso ceasing production in 1934. A new silver peso showing a woman, representing the Cuban Republic, beneath a star (the "ABC peso") was issued from 1934 to 1939. Finally, a centennial of Jose Marti commemorative (also minted in 50, 25, 20, and 1 centavos denominations) was produced in 1953.
Brass 1 and 5 centavos were issued in 1943, and with copper nickel composition sporadically from 1915 to 1958. Beginning in 1915 2, 5, 10, 20 and 40 centavos coins were occasionally minted. The last 10, 20, and 40 centavo coins were produced in 1952; these were commemorative issues celebrating the fiftieth year of the republic. As mentioned above, in 1953, silver 25 and 50 centavos commemorative coins were also issued. These were the last silver coins issued for circulation. The last US produced coin was the 1961 five centavo piece.
In 1962, cupro-nickel 20 and 40 centavos were introduced, followed, in 1963, by aluminium 1 and 5 centavos. In 1969, aluminium 20 centavos were introduced, followed by aluminium 2 centavos and brass 1 peso in 1983. Cupro-nickel 3 peso coins were introduced in 1990, with brass-plated-steel 1 peso and nickel-clad-steel 3 peso coins following in 1992. 40 centavo coins were withdrawn from circulation around July 2004 and are no longer accepted as payment. Coins currently in circulation are 1, 2, 5 and 20 centavos and 1 and 3 pesos.
Between 1981 and 1989, the National Institute of Tourism (Instituto Nacional de Turismo, "INTUR") issued "Visitors Coinage" for use by tourists. In 1981, cupro-nickel 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos and 1 peso were introduced, followed in 1988 by aluminium 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. The INTUR coins were demonetized on October 15, 2001 and were replaced by fractional convertible pesos in 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos and 1 peso, minted in Canada. In late 2004, a 5 convertible peso coin, dated 1999, was placed into circulation.
In 1857, the Banco Español de la Habana introduced notes in denominations of 50, 100, 300, 500 and 1000 pesos. As well, 25 peso notes were introduced in 1867, followed by 5 and 10 pesos in 1869. During the Ten Years' War, notes were issued dated 1869 in the name of the Republic of Cuba in denominations of 50 centavos, 1, 5, 10, 50, 500 and 1000 pesos.
In 1872, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavo, and 1 and 3 peso notes were introduced by the Banco Español de la Habana. In 1891, the Treasury issued notes for 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pesos. In 1896, the name of the bank was changed to the Banco Español de la Isla de Cuba, and it issued notes in denominations of 5 and 50 centavos and 1, 5 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 pesos, followed by 10 and 20 centavos in 1897.
In 1905, the National Bank of Cuba (Banco Nacional de Cuba) issued notes for 1, 2, 5 and 50 pesos. However, the 1905 banknotes were not issued (source: Pick's catalog) In 1934, the Government introduced silver certificates (certificados de plata) in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pesos, followed by 100 pesos in 1936 and 500 and 1000 pesos in 1944.
In 1949, the Banco Nacional de Cuba resumed paper money production, introducing 1, 5, 10 and 20 peso notes that year, followed by 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 10,000 peso notes in 1950. Denominations above 100 pesos were not continued. In January 1961, all previous bank notes were demonetized, with new bank notes, printed in Czechoslovakia, placed into circulation. Three-peso notes were added in 1983. The 1961 bank notes were demonetized on May 1, 2002. Banknotes currently in circulation are 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos.
|Banknotes of the Cuban peso (Current issues)|
|1 peso||José Martí||Fidel Castro and his men entering Havana, (08.01.59) (January 8, 1959)|
|3 pesos||Ernesto Guevara ("Che")||"Che" Guevara cutting sugar cane|
|5 pesos||Antonio Maceo||Conference between Antonio Maceo and Spanish General A. Martinez Campos at Mangos de Baragua (1878)|
|10 pesos||Máximo Gómez||"War of the people"|
|20 pesos||Camilo Cienfuegos||Banana harvest and fieldwork ("Development of Agriculture")|
|50 pesos||Calixto García Íñiguez||Genetic and Biotechnological Centre|
|100 pesos||Carlos Manuel de Céspedes||Anti-imperialistic tribune "José Martí", Havana|
The CUP and the CUC
For accounting purposes, the public sector uses an exchange rate 1 CUP to 1 CUC. However, for the rest of the population, the exchange rate is that applied by the Cuban banks and Cadecas (exchange bureaux). From 18 March 2005, the rate is 1:25 when exchanging CUC for CUP and 24:1 when going from CUP to CUC.
|Current CUP exchange rates|
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- Cuban convertible peso
- Central banks and currencies of the Caribbean
- Economy of Cuba
- Demurrage (currency)
- The World Factbook, 2008 est.
- The Story Behind the 1897 Cuban Peso and the 1898 Peso
- Do You Know Your ABC's?
- "LA MONEDA CUBANA". Jose Maria Aledon, La Moneda Cuba. 1999.
- source: Banco Central Cuba, Granma, February 27, 2002
- "Centro de Promoción del Comercio Exterior y la Inversión Extranjera de Cuba - CEPEC". Cepec.cu. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- Krause, Chester L., and Clifford Mishler (1991). Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1801–1991 (18th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873411501.
- Pick, Albert (1994). Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: General Issues. Colin R. Bruce II and Neil Shafer (editors) (7th ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-207-9.