Cuba's president to drop its dual currency system Jan. 1

Cuba's president has announced that the government will unify the island's monetary system on New Year’s Day, closing the door on more than 25 years with two national currencies in circulation

HAVANA -- Cuba will unify its monetary system on New Year's Day, President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced Thursday evening, closing the door on more than 25 years with two national currencies in circulation.

Díaz-Canel said in a national radio and television broadcast that the country will revert to using its peso, which has an official exchange rate of 24 for a U.S. dollar. It will drop the convertible peso, which is worth about $1.

Government officials for several years had conceded the difficulties of having the two currencies and different exchange rates, but they made no move to impose a reorganization because of worries about the potential negative impact, including inflation.

The monetary change “will put the country in a better position to carry out the transformations” needed for strengthening the economy, the president said, though he conceded the change will not be a “magic solution to all the problems.”