Venezuela's Latest Shortage: Toilet Paper
Government to import 50M rolls
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 16, 2013 10:13 AM CDT
A woman who just bought toilet paper at a grocery store reads her receipt as she leaves the private store in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short....   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

(Newser) – Amid milk and coffee shortages, Venezuela is now facing a sanitary crisis: There's not enough toilet paper to go around. "I'm 71 years old, and this is the first time I've seen this," said one man shopping for the stuff. "This is the last straw." Another shopper said she'd "been looking for it for two weeks." The government says it's the opposition's fault, and it plans to import 50 million rolls, as well as 760,000 tons of food. "We are going to saturate the market so that our people calm down," says commerce minister Alejandro Fleming.

State price controls are to blame, economists tell the AP. "Prices that are set below market-clearing price always result in shortages," says a Johns Hopkins professor. "The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union." With too little foreign currency, companies have struggled to pay for outside supplies, leaving factories to run at just half capacity. But the commerce minister points the finger at "a media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country," leading to "excessive demand."

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May 18, 2013 5:30 PM CDT
Good Lord!! --- Oops, I mean, "Ay-yyyy DIOS MIO!!!!!" I expected sugar to be next on that country's "endangered feces"-----Oops!! Once again, sorry, I meant, 'species'--endangered species list. I can almost hear Sheryl Crow barking "I told you so's" at Venezuela and waving her 1 sheet of toilet paper.
May 18, 2013 11:44 AM CDT
left wing socialists never learn !
May 17, 2013 2:48 PM CDT
It might be safe to say 100% of Venezuelan pools are contaminated with poop.