It’s come to this: Venezuela approves funds to relieve the toilet-paper shortage

posted at 10:01 pm on May 22, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After longtime Chavismo-strongman Hugo Chavez’s death earlier this year, his lieutenant Nicolas Maduro “won” the snap election for a replacement president — except that the opposition party headed by challenger Henry Capriles maintains that the election results were fraudulent and is refusing to recognize Maduro as the legitimate president without a thorough audit of the whole thing. The Venezuelan Supreme Court tried to nip that idea in the bud (because really, what good is a corrupted and tyrannical power structure without rule-of-law-defying loyalty?), but the opposition isn’t giving up and Venezuelan politics of late have not been going at all smoothly.

Venezuela’s parliament roared back to life Tuesday with fractious debates between government and opposition lawmakers after a three-week paralysis following a brawl on the assembly floor.

While no punches were thrown this time, the animated discussions reflected the deep polarization of the country since the death of longtime leader Hugo Chavez and last month’s disputed presidential election.

Opposition lawmakers, who claim Chavez’s anointed successor, Nicolas Maduro, stole the election by fraud, called for an investigation into the April 30 punch-up in the National Assembly, which left several members of the opposition injured. The brawl erupted as opposition legislators protested a decision to deny them the right to speak unless they accepted the election result.

The opposition also used Tuesday’s session to call for an investigation into an audio recording they claim reveals Cuban behind-the-scenes influence on the Chavista government.

Maduro, meanwhile, probably has much more important presidential business to which he needs to attend than the daily squabbles over his shady election circumstances. Oh, things like, you know — convincing his fellow Venezuelans that the massive shortages of basic goods are actually due to nefarious political plots and not the utter folly of central planning and price controls that cause artificial shortages and drive up inflation. The usual stuff.

Venezuela’s National Assembly has backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage.

Lawmakers voted to approve a $79m credit for the country’s ministry of commerce, which will also be used to buy toothpaste and soap. …

The oil-rich nation relies on imports, but currency controls have restricted its ability to pay for foreign goods.

President Nicolas Maduro, who won a narrow majority in April’s presidential elections, maintains that the country’s periodic shortages of basic goods are the result of a conspiracy by the opposition and rich sectors of society.


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Are they authorized to use more than 1 sheet at a time.

RickB on May 22, 2013 at 10:08 PM

at least Sheryl Crow was offering us 2 sheets :)

CoffeeLover on May 22, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Hey brother,can you spare a square.

HumpBot Salvation on May 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM

This is what socialism looks smells like.

It’s ‘paradise’

… except everyone smells like they have to wipe their a%%.

Seven Percent Solution on May 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Central planning is a great idea. It worked for the soviets. They had plenty of size 6 woman’s shoes for the left foot in white.

SparkPlug on May 22, 2013 at 10:15 PM

The USSR has problems with a toilet paper shortage as well. As did Romania.

http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2013/05/16/why-do-socialist-paradises-have-so-much-trouble-with-toilet-paper/

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-17/venezuela-runs-out-toilet-paper?page=1

To vaguely paraphrase Mike Tyson, “everyone has a plan for a socialist utopia, until they run out of toilet paper.”

Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.

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,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

INC on May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Why do I feel like this is going to be the US in about 6 months?

bitsy on May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

can we please have an immigration thread? There is a lot of Kabuki theater going on.

Now, the immigration bill would have passed out of committee anyway given the majority Ds. So there’s that. But obviously there are a lot of prog Rs anxious to get their names emblazoned in history. So they flock to immigration like moths to a flame.

Now, the Kabuki part is that there is a lot of sentiment that there are poisoned pills in the bill which will doom it…and that will make Barry look good…and the left will jump up and down in 2014 about the Racists in the right wing redneck party and win a few House seats.

yeah, maybe…or maybe playing with fire.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/05/are-we-distracted-by-scandals-while-democrats-walk-away-with-the-immigration-amnesty-prize/

LI has a good analysis…and the comments are particularly dire.

We have to sober up quick…we have way to many stupid Rs…the wise heads that want to lead America to a new future.

r keller on May 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Does Madurp have an IRS to sic on the disloyal opposition party?

PattyJ on May 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

I remembered that the USSR also had problems with a toilet paper shortage:


Venezuela Runs Out Of Toilet Paper

To vaguely paraphrase Mike Tyson, “everyone has a plan for a socialist utopia, until they run out of toilet paper.”

Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.

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,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

Add Ceausescu’s Romania to the list.

Why Do Socialist Paradises Have So Much Trouble With Toilet Paper?

INC on May 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Does Maduro have an IRS to sic on the disloyal opposition party?

PattyJ on May 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Sorry for the double post. I thought the first one was caught and redid the link.

INC on May 22, 2013 at 10:22 PM

What’s wrong with this? Government solved the problem. In the US, those obstructionist Republicans would have stopped funding for this until they banned late term abortions, or something. /s

notropis on May 22, 2013 at 10:22 PM

I can solve Venezuela’s sticky problem. Roll up Lois Lerner and 100,000 IRS co-workers and ship them C.O.D.

MaiDee on May 22, 2013 at 10:32 PM

To the left, shortages are a feature, not a bug. It just means they get to pick and choose who gets the goodies.

rightmind on May 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM

To the left, shortages are a feature, not a bug. It just means they get to pick and choose who gets the goodies.

rightmind on May 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Boy howdy did you just send a chill up my spine. And I can’t think of a single thing to say to refute that.

MelonCollie on May 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Why do I feel like this is going to be the US in about 6 months?

bitsy on May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Meh, people not having money to BUY potty paper is not far-fetched. But TP is one of the few things we still make by the shipload. Venezuela, by comparison, is several leagues below us for manufacturing capability.

MelonCollie on May 23, 2013 at 12:01 AM

The sheets have finally hit the fan…

viking01 on May 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM

President Barack Obama, who won a narrow majority in November’s presidential elections, maintains that the country’s periodic shortages of basic goods are the result of a conspiracy by the opposition and rich sectors of society.

TallDave on May 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

The problem with Socialism is… you eventually run out of other peoples’ toilet paper.

monkeyboy on May 23, 2013 at 12:13 AM

Oh. snap!

Del Dolemonte on May 23, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Maybe they should use both sides of the TP before flushing?

dirtseller on May 23, 2013 at 12:44 AM

I might mention that I was talking to a Peruvian recently. They, Peruvians, think this is seriously funny. Because the fool Chavez closed down the paper mills to prevent news papers, etc. LOL.
Now we know Chavez and Obama have the same IQ range. In the toilet. LOL.

pat on May 23, 2013 at 2:22 AM

The sheets have finally hit the fan…

viking01 on May 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Well played.

John the Libertarian on May 23, 2013 at 2:30 AM

Hows that COMMUNISIM working for you down there venezuela? If you guys were ARMED, you could have long ago killed your leaders and freed yourselves from and oppressive, criminal government system.

This is why the US constitutional system is so powerful for freedom, and why socialists here want it changed.

TX-96 on May 23, 2013 at 6:05 AM

Guns? Check.
Ammo? Check.
Food? Check.
Two years supply of TP? Check.

Molon Labe

ajacksonian on May 23, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Obama would gladly use a toilet paper shortage if he could.

How envious he must be.

Sherman1864 on May 23, 2013 at 7:16 AM

Hey! Where’s Hugo’s best pal Joe Kennedy now?

Happy Nomad on May 23, 2013 at 7:31 AM

These filthy rich capitalist pigs use MORE THAN ONE SHEET!!!!!

Will the hoard give the filthy pigs the meat cleaver Muslim Jihadi treatment???

Alluah Maduro!!!!

PappyD61 on May 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Big difference between the US and this banana republic.

If this was the US then the president, congress, the unions and the welfare types would get the top of the line Charmin.

The greedy private sector capitalists would get tree bark, newspapers and leftover insulation.

Kind of like the “sepate but equal” healtcare, pensions, exemption from laws and regulations etc that they currently enjoy.

acyl72 on May 23, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Coming to a neighborhood near you…….soon.

Pardonme on May 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Toilet paper workers of the world unite?

Will this be covered under obamacare? Turmoiled tummies want to know.

Don L on May 23, 2013 at 8:34 AM

relieve the toilet-paper shortage

That’s some very nice work there Erika :)

antipc on May 23, 2013 at 8:47 AM

If only Venezuela had a precious commodity, say oil, to sell. Then they could make lots of money.

rbj on May 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

These filthy rich capitalist pigs use MORE THAN ONE SHEET!!!!!

Will the hoard give the filthy pigs the meat cleaver Muslim Jihadi treatment???

Alluah Maduro!!!!

PappyD61 on May 23, 2013 at 7:34 AM

Real environmentalists socialists would decree using only on side and leaving sheets on the floor or stuck on walls and etc. for comrades.

IlikedAUH2O on May 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Just one ply? No we’re wiped out.

jake49 on May 23, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I’m old enough to remember when Fidel Castro took over Cuba and there was a joke going around at that time in which Fidel gave a speech to his people and did the bad news/good news thing saying:
“The bad news is all we have to eat is horse manure, but the good news is there’s plenty to go around.”

Wyatt Wingfoot on May 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Toilet paper for oil sounds like a good trade.

Klem Kadiddlehopper on May 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

The next socialist decree from one of those govts that the people all belong to:

“Drink less water! Your Leader needs you to become constipated for the good the collective!”

DrDeano on May 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Diaper rash — this is what socialism looks like in Venezuela.

scrubjay on May 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Somehow I doubt that toilet paper is the biggest problem in Venezuela.

virgo on May 24, 2013 at 2:32 AM