WASHINGTON — Some in Venezuela are now asking whether socialism really works in Venezuela. Why? There is now a toilet paper shortage throughout the country, reports the Associated Press.
Milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal are in short supply as it is, and it is more embarrassing that Venezuela has not run out of toilet paper. The current Socialist government run by Hugo Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, blames the opposition for the widespread shortages.
Manuel Fagundes, a local, was quoted as saying, “This is the last straw…I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.” Another, Cristina Ramos, said “I’ve been looking for it for two weeks”.
Steve Hanke, economics professor at Johns Hopkins University, said, “State-controlled prices – prices that are set below market-clearing price – always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union”.
Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in as president under suspicious electoral circumstances, blames the democratic opposition and private sector for trying to destabilize the country. He also announced that Venezuela will import 760,000 tons of food and 50 million rolls of toilet paper.
Henrique Capriles, the opposition presidential candidate, has called for a recount of the April presidential vote, but that seems unlikely as the electoral board and current judiciary are stacked with pro-Maduro supporters. Lawmakers brawled in parliament over the legitimacy of the vote, and Maduro imprisoned a key opposition figure after the election.