Venezuela's Shopping List: 39M Rolls of TP

Also toothpaste, soap
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
Toilet paper is currently a hot commodity in Venezuela.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It always sucks running out of toilet paper, especially when you're a country of almost 30 million people. Thanks to various international sanctions, Venezuela sometimes runs low on basic necessities, and right now, that very much includes toilet paper, which has a habit of disappearing from shelves the second it appears. So lawmakers have just voted to import 39 million rolls of the stuff, the BBC reports, as part of a $79 million measure that will also include toothpaste and soap.

The reason for the shortages is actually somewhat in dispute. President Nicolas Maduro blames a conspiracy by rich people and his political opponents. Some analysts also cite government price controls, which have led people to snap up undercosted goods—which in turn drives up inflation. Venezuela's 25% inflation is the highest in Latin America. (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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