Only in euros and cash: this is how the Spanish consulate will handle the procedures in Cuba

The Consulate of Spain in Havana who – which Starting next Friday, July 1 The consular fee that people have to pay at that institution in Euros will be in cash only.

In an update of these prices released on Friday by the diplomatic representation, it clarified that only the specified amount can be collected, so it will not be changed when any action is taken.

The new rates mean that Cubans will have to pay in a currency that the vast majority cannot access And that its price is exorbitant on the unofficial market, over 100 pesos per euro. Until this ad, Spain charges a fee for consular services in Cuba in Cuban pesos.

Passports will cost 30 euros, visas 80, legalization of documents ten, plus constraints. The Consulate has published the full list of new prices.

This decision comes in response to the monetary measure instituted by the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), which is another step in the dollarization of the economy.This has forced many foreign representatives in Cuba to temporarily suspend services that involve the collection of a certain amount.

The diplomatic representations of Panama, Mexico and Ecuador reported last week that they have suspended their consular services indefinitely, following a BCC directive that does not allow transfer of income from billed procedures in Cuban Pesos (CUP) to foreign currencies.

The document from the BCC states that embassies and consulates that decide to charge consular services in Cuban pesos can only “deposit funds into an account in that currency”.

add that “From the accounts of embassies and consulates in Cuban pesos” it will not be possible to make “transfers to accounts in a freely convertible currency, nor payments abroad”.

Freely Convertible Currency (MLC) is a virtual currency valid only in Cuba whose reference is a foreign currency. The MLC has been circulating in the country since the end of 2019 and is valid in a network of food and hardware stores set up by the government and has come under fire for the economic apartheid it represents, as most Cubans do not have access to foreign currency.

BCC instructions also allow for payment of consular formalities by transfer, either in pesos or in foreign currency, except for US dollars.

Given the Cubans’ complaints about the new procedure, The Department of Foreign Affairs (MINRIX) underestimated its influence.

“Very few accredited embassies in Havana have recently announced their decision to temporarily suspend consular services,” Menrix stated on her Twitter account, repeating a message from Ernesto Soberon, Director General of Consular and Cuban Affairs. Residents Abroad (DACCRE).

He added: “According to the provisions of the BCC Directive 01/2022, regarding the management of accounts in the national and freely convertible currency, the concerned diplomatic missions require amendments to the collection and payment mechanisms associated with their consular services.” path.

Concluding his message, he noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “is in contact with these Cuban embassies and financial institutions with the aim of resolving this specific situation in the shortest possible time and with the least possible harm to our citizens.”

According to the EFE report, The BCC order was received with displeasure by some embassies, as it prevents them from transferring money obtained by consular collection to their countries. for the services they provide.

The scale is related, according to various sources, to the difference between the official exchange rate – from 1 dollar to 24 pesos – and the unofficial one, since an American ticket costs about 100 kopecks.

These sources added that the conversion of the national currency into foreign currencies at the official rate and the exit of these currencies from the country is unfavorable for the Cuban government.

At least seven European embassies – including Italy and Germany – had already charged fees for their consular services in euros prior to the BCC announcement.

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