10,738 signatures for monetary reform.
Seven women took the petition to the National Assembly, which is obliged by Cuba's constitution to consider any legislative proposals requested by more than 10,000 citizens. In Cuba, people are paid in pesos but need a harder currency called the convertible peso--worth 24 times more--to buy most consumer goods. "We demand for all the nation that the Cuban peso be an acceptable means of payment in every establishment without exception," the petition said;
The signatures were gathered by members of the Latin American Federation of Rural Women, which receives support from Cuban exile organizations in Miami. Cuba introduced the convertible currency in 1994 when Cubans started receiving remittances from relatives in Florida to help them weather an economic crisis triggered by the break-up of Havana's benefactor, the Soviet Union. Cuban leader Fidel Castro said the measure was temporary and the government's goal is to eventually unify the two currencies when economic expansion permits. The government does not acknowledge the existence of dissidents and labels all opponents as "mercenaries" on the payroll of the United States.
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|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2008|
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