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
Kiss on the Neck: Sportsmanship taken to new level?    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] After a pair of players clashed in a Copa do Brazil ...
Super Solo Effort in FA Women's Super League    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Manchester City’s 17-year-old midfielder, Natasha Flint, took the ball in our own half, ...
Women's World Cup dress rehearsal begins Tuesday    
[COUNTDOWN: Canada 2014] Twelve years after hosting the first FIFA youth championship for women, Canada will ...
ESPN will broadcast 17 U-20 Women's World Cup matches    
[SOCCER ON THE AIR] In its last FIFA world championship before rights revert to Fox next ...
Scorpions look to extend leads    
[NASL: Fall Week 4] The San Antonio Scorpions will look to add to their NASL-record road ...
How Thierry 'Mr. Cool' Henry scores    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] The Frenchman makes it look easy. During their 1-1 tie with Real Salt ...
What They're Saying: Gerard Pique    
"I had the chance to see him one day at my grandfather's house when I was ...
What They're Saying: Louis van Gaal    
"[I] have transformed the Dutch school from 4-3-3 to 3-5-2 and, depending on the opponent, it ...
A costly miss from two yards out    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Robert Herrera of Uruguayan club Defensor Sporting managed to hit the ...
Seattle clinches regular-season title    
[NWSL: Week 16] The Seattle Reign FC clinched the 2014 NWSL regular-season title with four games ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives