Either way, the people are not happy about the idea of not having something to wipe their bums with.
Venezuelans scrambled to stock up on toilet paper Thursday as fears of a bathroom emergency spread despite the socialist government's promise to import 50 million rolls.The country is a mess. But it has been for a long time, thanks to Chavez and socialism.
After years of economic dysfunction, the country has gotten used to shortages of medicines and basic food items like milk and sugar but the scarcity of bathroom tissue has caused unusual alarm.
"Even at my age, I've never seen this," said 70-year-old Maria Rojas. She said she had been looking for toilet paper for two weeks when she finally found it at a supermarket in downtown Caracas.
Thousands of rolls flew off the store's shelves as consumers streamed in and loaded up shopping carts Thursday morning.
"I bought it because it's hard to find," said Maria Perez, walking out with several rolls of paper.
"Here there's a shortage of everything — butter, sugar, flour," she said. But the latest shortage is particularly worrisome "because there always used to be toilet paper."
Economists say Venezuela's shortages of some consumer products stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.
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As for the TP shortage, maybe they should follow Sheryl Crow's 'one square' per restroom visit. Or better yet, vote the Chavistas out come next election.