Cuba said on Thursday it would temporarily stop accepting cash bank deposits in dollars, blaming tighter U.S. sanctions that are restricting its ability to use greenbacks abroad, although it will still accept transfers, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The move came shortly before the government was due to present its annual resolution to end the crippling, decades-old U.S. trade embargo on the Communist-run country at the United Nations General Assembly.
Some Cubans and analysts speculated it was an attempt to control the black market price of the dollar. That has risen to more than twice the official exchange rate since the import-dependent country started opening stores selling in hard currency and stopped selling greenbacks due to a cash crunch.
Cuban bank account holders will have until June 21 to deposit dollars before the suspension takes effect.
"It is ever more difficult for Cuba to find international banking or financing institutions willing to receive, convert or process U.S. currency in cash," the Cuban Central Bank said in a statement shared by state-run media.