Exchange Rate of MLC Rises in Cuba's Informal Market

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Isabella Rojas

Exchange Rate of MLC Rises in Cuba's Informal Market
Usuario de cajero automático en Cuba (imagen de referencia) - Imagen de © Facebook / BANDEC

The exchange rate of the freely convertible currency (MLC) in Cuba's informal exchange market surged again this Tuesday, while the price of the euro and the dollar has remained stable for almost a week.

A four-point increase has pushed the MLC to 310 Cuban pesos (CUP), making this tool of the Cuban regime's monetary policy the new highlight of the relentless devaluation of the national currency.

The European currency has held steady at 400 pesos since Wednesday, May 8, a value that reduces the minimum wage in Cuba (2,100 CUP) to just 5.25 euros. For comparison, the minimum wage in Spain pays 8.28 euros per hour, meaning a Cuban worker on minimum wage earns slightly more than half of what a Spanish minimum-wage worker makes in an hour.

Adding to this, the prices of many essential goods such as food and hygiene products are often similar to those in Spain. This calculation reveals scandalous levels of extreme poverty, inequality, and social exclusion.

Meanwhile, the dollar remains at 395 CUP, a rate it hit on Thursday, May 9, suggesting a moment of precarious stability in its value in the informal exchange market.

However, far from providing relief, this trend keeps Cubans in suspense about whether the price of the U.S. currency will stay at this astronomical level or begin to drop.

Current Exchange Rates as of 05/14/2024 - 6:24am in Cuba

Exchange Rate of USD to CUP according to elTOQUE: 395 CUP

Exchange Rate of EUR to CUP according to elTOQUE: 400 CUP

Exchange Rate of MLC to CUP according to elTOQUE: 310 CUP

Alternative Exchange Rates on Other Platforms

USD Exchange Rate: Buy at 391 CUP, Sell at 395 CUP

EUR Exchange Rate: Buy at 397 CUP, Sell at 401 CUP

MLC Exchange Rate: Buy at 304 CUP, Sell at 304 CUP

The informal exchange rate in Cuba provided here is not officially recognized or backed by any financial or governmental entity.

Recently, the independent portal elTOQUE published an editorial defending itself against accusations from the Cuban government, which blames it for the current devaluation of the national currency.

In recent weeks, the regime has intensified a campaign through its media outlets and social media accounts of its followers aimed at discrediting the platform, which daily publishes the price fluctuations of currencies in the informal market.

According to elTOQUE, this is nothing more than an attempt by the Communist Party to turn the website into "another scapegoat to justify its failure," instead of acknowledging its responsibility in the crisis that is sinking the country.

Understanding Cuba's Informal Currency Exchange Market

Given the fluctuations and controversies surrounding Cuba's informal currency exchange market, here are some questions and answers to provide clarity.

Why has the MLC exchange rate increased?

The rise in the MLC exchange rate reflects the continuous devaluation of the Cuban peso and the increased demand for foreign currency in the informal market.

How does the informal exchange rate impact everyday Cubans?

The informal exchange rate significantly affects the purchasing power of Cubans, as essential goods are often priced similarly to those in countries with stronger currencies, exacerbating poverty and inequality.

What is elTOQUE's role in the currency exchange market?

elTOQUE provides daily updates on currency fluctuations in the informal market, offering transparency and information that the Cuban government does not officially provide.

Why is the Cuban government blaming elTOQUE for the devaluation?

The government accuses elTOQUE of causing the devaluation as part of a larger strategy to shift blame away from its own economic policies and failures.

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