Cuba announces details of currency unification, plans larger-denomination bills

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Cuba's central bank chief is giving new details of the elimination of a special currency, saying that the shift will require putting more Cuban pesos into circulation and issuing higher-denomination bills.

The elimination of the stronger currency is one of the toughest challenges facing Cuba's struggling socialist economy, forcing officials to eliminate a distorted double set of prices for many goods without spawning inflation.

Most Cubans earn and buy goods in local pesos. The convertible peso used largely in the tourism sector is also used by Cubans to buy many goods long unavailable in local currency. The convertible peso is worth about one U.S. dollar, or 24 local pesos. The highest-denomination local bill is 100 pesos.

Central Bank president Ernesto Medina tells the state news agency consumer prices won't change.