Toilet Paper Shortage in Venezuela Causes Outrage and Talk of Government Conspiracy

Venezuela regularly faces shortages of basic necessities like toilet paper.

Venezuela regularly faces shortages of basic necessities like toilet paper.

Charmin, Cottonelle, White Cloud, and Scott all have one thing in common, they wipe up the floor with the rest of their competitors when it comes to necessities in the grocery store.

The Venezuelan people would be happy to get any one of these toilet paper makers to stock the shelves of their grocery stores as the country is experiencing their first toilet paper shortage.  The country has had other shortages of things like milk and butter, but for most of the month of May, folks have had to find an alternate way to…wipe.

According to CBS, the socialist government claimed to start importing 50 million rolls to saturate the market to get the people calmed down, but the conspiracy theories are already being flung around and the outrage will not subside easily. 

“This is the last straw,” said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas. “I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

“I’ve been looking for it for two weeks,” said Cristina Ramos. “I was told that they had some here and now I’m in line.”

Yikes!  But at the basis of the dilemma is the lack of foreign currency.  The country’s lack of currency has resulted in “the suspension of foreign supplies of raw materials, equipment and spare parts to Venezuelan companies, disrupting their production.”

A decade ago, Hugo Chavez, the nation’s leader that died of cancer a month ago, designated property and businesses to be under government control as he attempted to cause “capital flight,” but it appears his plan backfired as shortage after shortage has occurred and scarcity of basic items reached its highest level since 2009 and 12-month inflation rate has risen to nearly 30 percent. Shoppers spend days looking for basic necessities and have to stock up once they find them.

Read more here.

-J.C. Brooks