Currencies by Country:

What is the Cuban peso (CUP)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Cuba a Caa1 rating, with a stable outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.


In 2008 the total GDP was $60,806,200,000 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $5,396. It grew by 4.12% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 2009 is 1.60%.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is President Raúl Castro, who is also the head of state (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The Cuban peso, denoted by CUP, is one of two official currencies used in Cuba. The CUP does not have any value outside of Cuba, and is used almost exclusively within the nation. For many years, the United States Dollar (USD) has been used by tourists and for “luxury” items. However, usage of the USD is now being replaced by the CUC, or the Cuban convertible peso. Thus, Cuba has two parallel currencies: the CUP and CUC.

Coins in circulation are 1, 2, 5, 20 & 40 centavos and 1 and 3 pesos. Banknotes in circulation are 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 pesos.

Economic Overview:

The government of Cuba continues to balance its need to loosen the economy and its desire for firm political control. It has undertaken limited reforms to increase enterprise efficiency and alleviate scarcity of food, consumer goods and services. A major feature of the Cuban economy is the striking dichotomy between efficient export enclaves and inefficient domestic sectors. The average standard of living in Cuba remains lower than before the 1990s depression (which was caused by loss of Soviet aid and domestic inefficiencies). In 2004, the government was able to strengthen its control over dollars coming into the economy from tourism, remittances and trade.

Key Industries:

Sugar, petroleum, tobacco, construction, nickel, steel, cement, agricultural machinery and pharmaceuticals.

Agricultural Products:

Sugar, tobacco, citrus, coffee, rice, potatoes, beans and livestock.

Export Commodities:

Sugar, nickel, tobacco, fish, medical products, citrus and coffee.

Import Commodities:

Petroleum, food, machinery and equipment, and chemicals.

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