Funny, all these years the Castro brothers blamed Cuba’s grinding poverty and economic failure on two big problems: the US embargo and a lack of energy reserves. Now here comes Venezuela, no embargo and some of the largest oil reserves in the world, and Castro policies are producing Castro results. It’s almost as if socialism tends to produce oppression and poverty in any country it controls— along with bureaucratic thuggishness, cronyism, and corruption.

Meanwhile, the WaPo story reports that, according to central bank data, one out of every five basic products isn’t available. The government is responding to this by attacking the media for causing a toilet paper shortage. But don’t worry, the shortage should go away soon; the last independent TV station in the country has recently been taken over by a group friendlier to the powers that be.