The unification of the two currencies circulating in Cuba, announced by the government but without any clear timeframes, will put an end to two decades of a dual currency system that was introduced when the country was brought to its knees by the collapse of the Soviet Union.
But experts say the inequalities that emerged during the severe economic crisis will not be resolved through mere monetary reform.
The following graphic provides a timeline showing the key developments in the dual currency system and the way nominal wages, revenue, savings and liquidity have evolved.
An end to the country’s dual-currency system is one of the reforms most anxiously-awaited by Cubans, who nevertheless reacted with scepticism and doubt to the announcement of a timeline for eliminating the system, blamed for exacerbating social inequalities in the country.
As self-employment and cooperatives expand in socialist Cuba, they are making incursions into new areas, such as waste picking and recycling – for many a means of subsistence, but for others, a gold mine.
In the 1960s, the Cuban government declared that storage of fresh water for times of drought or hurricanes was a matter of national security, and it began to dam up the country’s rivers. But that policy has claimed an unforeseen victim: mangroves.
U.S policymakers indulge in a variety of child’s play called collapsism. They close their eyes when they want a particularly despised adversary to go away. And poof! Kim Jong Eun’s North Korea eventually disappears. Raul Castro’s Cuba eventually vanishes.
You can’t buy it in a store or get it in Cuba’s public health clinics. But young men who frequent gyms know who sells it and secretly inject themselves with “peanut oil,” as people in this country refer to synthol and other products that increase muscle mass.
A rise in temperature modifies the physiological features of some plants – a consequence of climate change that is less perceptible than stronger and more frequent hurricanes, but just as harmful to food production.
It is unusual to see Cuban sports legends in public service announcements. However, a handful of champions and rising young stars are wearing messages or appearing in TV spots against violence among men or toward women.
One challenge faced by the Cuban government, and a high priority for citizens, is improving the efficiency and sustainability of public health services, a constitutional right that the state is supposed to ensure for all.
In nearly all of Latin America, illegal abortion is a serious public health problem. But in Cuba, where abortion is legal, it is being overused by teenagers.
The stray cat’s fur was burned and its eyes were hanging from its sockets when pensioner Neida González found it on a street in the Cuban capital. The cat, which she named Grenlito, now lives with her eight other pets.
It's Saturday, and the entrance hall of a police station in front of the busy market in Salomon in the Haitian capital has become an improvised health post. In a few minutes there is a long queue of people waiting to be seen by the Cuban medical brigade.
Colombia’s FARC guerrillas announced Friday a “pause” in the peace talks in Havana, which formally opened a year ago. But analysts say it is only a temporary glitch.
The spread of the virus that causes dengue fever has created an emergency situation for institutions, governments and scientists in Latin America seeking sustainable solutions for a health problem that could worsen as a result of climate change.
The furrows are hard to make out in fields of the Finca de Semillas, a farm on Havana’s outskirts, because its administrators, Esmilda Sánchez and Raúl Aguilar, protect every centimetre of soil with mulch.