Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
CUBA DIARY: Four pennies to see qualifier
by Mike Woitalla, September 6th, 2008 11:55AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
What They're Saying: Arsene Wenger    
"One day, if I'm free, why not?" -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday saying he ...
What They're Saying: Sam Allardyce    
"Well done! Our journey has begun with our first win together. Looking forward to seeing you ...
This week in men's college soccer    
Albert Ruiz broke a 43-year-old NCAA record for the fastest hat trick to start a game ...
USL Playoffs: Red Bulls II take best record into postseason    
Overall points leader Red Bulls II heads the USL's Eastern Conference playoff field for first-round, sinlge-elimination ...
USMNT: Seven uncapped players who might get call-ups    
Jurgen Klinsmann's only chance to look at new talent before the Hexagonal starts Nov. 11 is ...
USL Playoffs: Sac Republic FC seeks to reclaim crown    
Two Western Conference games kick off the USL playoffs on Friday in the single-elimination tournament that ...
MLS Countdown: Lots on the line for Rapids and Timbers    
The second meeting of the season between Colorado and Portland comes nearly three months after a ...
NWSL Playoffs: Thorns and Spirit open at home    
For the Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit, this weekend's semifinals will mark the first time they've ...
U.S. Abroad: Carter-Vickers gets Spurs contract extension    
A week after 18-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers made his pro debut for Tottenham Hotspur in the ...
Mexico: Gio is back for October friendlies    
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos was picked by Mexico national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives