Cuba Money, currency and pesos

There’s lots of different information circulating about what do do for money in Cuba. This short video is a “how to” about the currency in Cuba, how to use it, where to get it.

Find out what a Cuban Convertible Peso is, where to get it, what currency to bring into Cuba, etc.

Some information on ATMs and credit cards too.

Current as of March 2010.

Transcription of the video:
Here I am in my fabulously decorated Havana hotel room and I want to talk to you about money. Cuban money. Pesos. Cuba has two currencies, the Cuban peso and the convertible peso. The Cuban peso is typically used by the locals, and tourists are stuck with the convertible peso, which is about 25 times the value of the Cuban peso. They do look very similar. So make sure you check that the one that you get says convertible peso because scams are out there.

Now, this is the Cuba convertible peso. A single. I’ve done a lot of traveling and you don’t see too many dominations of three. Tres pesos. They also come in fives and tens. And just to make things confusing, the one comes in a coin and a note, but you will typically use the note. There are also smaller coins, but considering how expensive Cuba is, you probably won’t be using coins too often. This is worth approximately .20 US. It does not get you too much in Cuba. It is not like other Central American countries where you come thinking you’re going to have a nice cheap holiday. Cuba is a very expensive place to come. The only cheap things are
cigarettes and alcohol.

When you come to Cuba, make sure you go to the CADECA or foreign exchange
at the airport. There are two of them. The lines are always long, but it is by far the easiest place to change your money. Do not come to Cuba thinking you can get around on US dollars. They are not accepted despite what people will tell you. That was phased out in 2004 and no one will take them.

The best currency to come to Cuba with is euro or pound, and then you can just change them at the airport. Australian dollars are not accepted. So, either bring in some US dollars or try and get some euros.

Maverick entrepreneur Mark Cuban described his picture of an ideal world to attendees of the Inc. GrowCo conference in Nashville, Tenn.

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Mark Cuban made headlines this week with the unflinchingly honest remarks he made at Inc.’s 17th annual GrowCo conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The outspoken entrepreneur gave his opinion on everything from whether Donald Sterling should be banned from the NBA to how to fix the economy.

On stage before a packed audience of entrepreneurs, Inc. President and Editor-in-Chief Eric Schurenberg asked Cuban the instantly intoxicating question: What would you change if you were in charge?

Naturally, Cuban jumped on the question. (He’s obviously been thinking about this!) From abolishing patents to reforming the NBA, here’s how the world would look if Cuban was King:

Eliminate software patents. “Patent law right now holds us back in every which way shape and form,” said Cuban, who added that he was once sued over a film distribution technique his company developed after someone else decided to file a patent for the technique. “In software, there’s no place for it.”

Change the culture of professional sports. When Cuban purchased the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, he immediately instituted a new rule: “If you mention our win or loss record, you’re fired.” Cuban made it clear that even though he owned a NBA team, he wasn’t in the business of basketball–he was in the business of entertainment. “The one thing you can’t control in sports is which games you’re going to win and which games you’re going to lose,” he said. “What I could control was the experience fans have.”

Put a ,000 cap on student loans. The current student debt crisis, Cuban argued, is hurting the economy more than anything else. It’s taking away the spending power of college graduates and decreasing overall consumption. He blamed skyrocketing college tuition costs on the availability of student loans. “It’s easy to get that loan because the government guarantees it,” he said. “And because it’s easy for you to take out a loan, it’s easy for the colleges to ask for more, because then the potential students just take out bigger loans.” The move might put some schools out of business, Cuban admitted, but the universities that survived would come back smarter and more efficient. “Until you fix the student loan bubble and the tuition bubble, we don’t have a chance,” he said.

Encourage organizational resilience. When discussing the upcoming vote to ban Sterling from the NBA for making racist remarks, Cuban stopped short of indicating how he’d vote. But, overall, he described the ban as a “slippery slope” and admitted that he himself is bigoted in some ways. After he asserted that everyone is prejudiced in some way or another, he argued that it was impossible to keep “stupid” out of an organization, as there was no law against it. “People are going to be stupid and make mistakes,” said Cuban. Ok, so this point isn’t totally in keeping with the “how Cuban would change the world” rubric, but overhauling people’s perceptions would surely be a top priority.

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