Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
CUBA DIARY: Four pennies to see qualifier
by Mike Woitalla, September 6th, 2008 11:55AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Cuba has two sets of currency. That's why I accidentally paid 24 times more for a newspaper than the asking price. And why when I tried to buy a postcard with the peso bill that features Jose Marti's face I was told to use the one on which the 19th century Cuban hero is riding a horse.

The CUC, or convertible peso, is what foreigners use. The CUP, or Cuban peso, is for locals and is the equivalent of four U.S. pennies - which is what the admission price is for Cuba's World Cup against the USA on Saturday.

"It is a symbolic entry fee," said Luis Hernandez, Cuba's soccer federation president.

Besides the low ticket price, the Cuban government is also offering free transportation to encourage a turnout that would fill the 17,000-capacity Pedro Marrero Stadium, which usually attracts a sprinkling of fans for soccer games in a nation where the sport ranks behind baseball, track & field, basketball and volleyball in popularity.

After conversion tax and fees, a CUC peso costs $1.20. What tourists pay at fine restaurants for an entrée is about the same as they would in the United States.

Locals, however, on Havana streets can buy an ice cream for one peso nacional (four U.S. cents), a pizza for six pesos (24 U.S. cents) or a pound of black beans for 12 pesos (48 cents).

Grocery stores have a sparse selection, but one British resident said that the government's permission to allow farmer's markets has made fresh fruit more accessible. He did point out that the oddity of a island without fish markets.

"Funnily enough, Cubans aren't that big on fish," he said.

But hotels and restaurants offer a good variety of seafood while the fish the Cubans do enjoy finds their way into Havana homes from fisherman that line the Malecon, the four-mile seawall and walkway.

"You just have to know someone," said the Brit. "That's how it is with a lot of things."

What is very expensive in Cuba is Internet access, which is restricted by the government and generally available only at the workplace or luxury hotels

An hour online costs about $10. One Cuban resident, a music teacher, told me he goes to a hotel for Internet use when his father in New York sends him money and e-mails greetings back to the USA as quickly as he can.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Guardiola: Bayern Munich deserved to win    
[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wednesday] Off to a relatively quiet start to its league season, German champion ...
Impact edges Red Bulls to take command    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Wednesday] In a Concacaf matchup of MLS teams, Montreal went with its stars, ...
Lichaj's Nottingham Forest stays on top    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Eric Lichaj, one of the few available European-based U.S. internationals not called into the ...
Women take to turf for final qualifying warmup    
[USA-MEXICO] With the threat of U.S. women's national team players to sue FIFA over the issue ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Midweek] In 2013, North Carolina came up against William & Mary as the No. 1 ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Midweek] No. 2 Virginia improved to 8-0-0 with a 5-0 victory over Old Dominion. The ...
A neat free-kick goal from Down Under     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Choreographed free kicks usually don't work out better than a simple shot on ...
Charlotte gains Independence as Eagles' successor    
[USL PRO] The Charlotte Independence will take the place of the Charlotte Eagles in USL PRO ...
What They're Saying: Clint Dempsey    
"We talked about trying to win the U.S. Open Cup, Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup. This ...
D.C.'s Espindola shows off stuff, Timbers refuse to wilt    
[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Tuesday] D.C. United all but clinched a berth in the quarterfinals of the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives