Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2013 Contents Cuba is to scrap its two-currency system in
the latest financial reform rolled out by President
Since 1994 Cuba has had two currencies, one
pegged to the US dollar and the other worth only
a fraction of that. The more valuable convertible
peso (CUC) was reserved for use in the tourism
sector and foreign trade.
Now its value will be gradually unified with
the lower-value CUP, ending a system resented
by ordinary Cubans. The Cuban economy is
almost entirely state-run and the tourism sector
has boomed since the collapse of the Soviet Union
plunged Cuba into economic isolation and hard-
The two-currency system was supposed to
protect Cuba s fragile economy but angered locals
paid in the much lower-value CUP and denied
access to goods only available for those with con-
vertible pesos. The policy exacerbated the creation
of a two-tier class system in Cuba which divided
privileged Cubans with access to the lucrative
tourist and foreign-trade sectors from those work-
ing in the local economy---all-too-visibly con-
tradicting Cuba s supposedly egalitarian society.
The council of ministers has approved a
timetable for implementing "measures that will
lead to monetary and exchange unification," the
official Communist Party newspaper Granma
Unification is "imperative to guarantee the re-
establishment of the Cuban peso s value and its
role as money, that is as a unit of accounting,
means of payment and savings," it said.
It gave no details of how quickly the change
would be implemented, though Reuters news
agency quoted Cuban economists as saying it
would take about 18 months. (BBC)
October 27, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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With Jamaica's Ministry of Justice position-
ing itself to seek approval from Cabinet for the
decriminalisation of marijuana, Government
Senator Mark Golding said the country is to ad-
vance constitutional justification to its interna-
tional partners for the revision of the law.
Golding, the country's Justice Minister, said
his ministry is thinking of reforming the law re-
lating to ganja in Jamaica. Golding said the re-
vised law would permit the possession of small
amounts of ganja, about two ounces, for recre-
Earlier this month, the House of Representa-
tives gave the nod to a private member's mo-
tion calling for the decriminalisation of ganja,
following weeks of rigorous debate, which saw
members on the Government side split on the
Jamaican Opposition Senator Alexander
Williams said Jamaica was missing out on a
multibillion-dollar medical marijuana market.
Williams said Jamaica would have a natural ad-
vantage in the industry. (Daily Gleaner)
MIAMI---Six people face US federal charges
after four women died when a boat carrying
Bahamians, Jamaicans and Haitians capsised
off Miami. Three of the four women who died
are Haitian. The boat operator, from the Ba-
hamas, faces a possible death sentence.
The 11 survivors were found clinging to the
hull the morning of October 17.
The indictment Thursday charges 53-year-
old Naaman Davis and 38-year-old George
Lewis, both of the Bahamas, with encouraging
and inducing aliens to enter the United States
resulting in death. Boat operator Davis is also
charged with involuntary manslaughter. Both
men face possible death sentences. (AP)
KINGSTON, JAMAICA---Tony Brevett, a Ja-
maican musician who launched the popular
rocksteady band The Melodians, has died. Band
member Trevor Mc-
Brevett died from
cancer yesterday at a
hospital in Miami. He
was in his 60s. The
Melodians were best
known for their hit,
The Rivers of Baby-
lon. The song was in-
cluded in the
soundtrack of the 1972 movie The Harder They
Come. McNaughton and Brevett were on a US
tour commemorating The Melodians' 50th an-
niversary before Brevett fell ill. (AP)
Cuba to scrap two
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