Cuba to accept U.S. dollars at government stores

People wearing face masks amid the spread of the new coronavirus visit while waiting to enter a government-run food store in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. State media has started a campaign of zero tolerance for anyone attempting to cash in on the fallout from the spread of the new coronavirus, like hoarding and speculative pricing, which has imposed even more distress on Cubans who were already used to shortages and long lines in their efforts to find basic necessities. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) (Ramon Espinosa, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Cuban officials announced stores will be excluding a 10% tax on purchases done with U.S. dollars.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Alejandro Gil, Cuba’s minister of economy, made the announcement on Thursday.

“We are in an exceptional situation,” Gil said in Spanish, adding the measure was in response to the economic crisis brought upon the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. embargo and a reduction in tourism.

This is a developing story.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.