Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Visiting Venezuela? Take some toilet paper.

Sometimes little stories on the back pages tell volumes about what is going on and this one tells you a lot if you pay attention.

     We have not heard much from our friends in Venezuela in the news lately. There’s a good reason for that. Since the death of Hugo Chavez (who is undoubtedly smelling sulfur for real these days) his handpicked successor has been having a lot of trouble.
     The countries economy has gone the way of most attempts at government enforced socialism and is suffering from high unemployment and chronic shortages of food and essential supplies.
     Venezuela is running out of toilet paper and the Venezuelan government took over a toilet paper factory to avoid running out of the product. They ordered the National Guard to take control of a plant, and to monitor production and distribution. 
     Earlier this year officials were forced to order millions of toilet rolls to be imported to counter a chronic shortage. 
     Last week the new President, Nicolas Maduro, created a special committee to tackle the problem, which the government is blaming on unscrupulous traders. 
     In a tweet on Thursday, Venezuela's Vice President, Jorge Arreaza, said authorities would "not permit hoarding of essential commodities, or any faults in the production and distribution process." (Apparently prison is on the horizon for citizens with too much toilet paper).
     Well, they wanted to be like Cuba and the old Soviet Union and it sounds like they are achieving that nicely.

Todays Reflection:
If your ship dosen't come in -swim out to meet it!
Live Long and Prosper...

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