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Cuba - Questions about Phone/Internet/Currency

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My husband and I are going to Cuba in January on a cultural exchange trip, with all accommodations and most meals included. I have basic questions: it is my understanding that US cell phones can't be used/don't work in Cuba. Is this accurate? If so, what are some options, as my husband will need a phone for work. Also, is internet access reliable?
Finally, I know that we will need to use local currency. It is my understanding we will incur a penalty when changing US dollars into CUC - what is the best way to go about this? Will we be able to use our US bank ATM cards or should we plan to use US $ to change into local currency?
Thank you in advance for your help!

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