Feature

Cubans ditch dollars

The week's news at a glance.

Havana

Cubans jammed banks this week to sell off U.S. dollars after Fidel Castro announced he was yanking the American currency out of circulation. Exiles wire Cuban relatives $800 million a year, more than the communist government raises from its main export, sugar. The dollar had been accepted for a decade in special stores offering scarce imports and in many other businesses, but Castro said that would end Nov. 8. Castro said he imposed the ban to protest the tightening of the “mafialike” U.S. embargo against Cuba. The Bush administration said the sanctions were meant to pressure Cuba to dump communism and respect human rights. Castro said Bush wanted to “asphyxiate the country.”

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