The Republic of Cuba is nestled in the northern Caribbean surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean sea, and the Atlantic ocean. This multi-ethnic Latin American country was a Spanish colony from 1492 until 1898.
The Spanish and Spanish colonial real were the currencies circulating in Cuba until banknotes denominated in pesos at a rate of 1 peso to 8 reals were released in 1857. Decimal banknotes were subsequently issued in 1869. The Cuban peso (CUP) was pegged to the US dollar at par in 1881.
After the United States enforced an embargo against the country in 1960, the monetary unit lost its value. The country then pegged its monetary unit to the Soviet ruble when the Soviet Union became its new partner for sugar quota.
The Cuban peso lost its worth again when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. Two years later, the US dollar was considered a legal tender when the country suffered from an economic crisis. Later on, a convertible peso (CUC) was issued in 1994 at the same value as the US dollar. The convertible peso was in circulation together with the US dollars until the USD was finally withdrawn from circulation by the government of Cuba in 2004.
At the beginning of January 2021, the unification of the two monetary units began, retaining the Cuban peso as the national currency.