Cuba to eliminate currency for foreigners

Associated Press
Cuba's President Raul Castro, left, and Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel attend the opening of a twice-annual legislative sessions, at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Cubadebate, Ismael Francisco)
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Cuba's President Raul Castro, left, and Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel attend the opening of a twice-annual legislative sessions, at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Cubadebate, Ismael Francisco)

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba's top economic official says the country will eliminate a special currency designed for foreign exchange as part of a move to end the island's unique double-currency system.

Tourists use a convertible peso equal to a U.S. dollar while most Cubans are paid in pesos worth about four cents. Many goods are easier to find in government stores that exclusively accept convertible pesos. The dual system creates privileges for those who work in tourism, and resentment from those who don't.

The government has pledged to unify the two currencies.

Vice President Marino Murillo told parliament Friday that the special peso would eventually disappear, the first time the government has explicitly said that. He promised that savings in convertible pesos would retain their value until the change took place.

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