In a capitalist market economy, manufacturers of various goods are free to ramp up or slow down production of their product to keep pace with the balance between supply and demand, generally ensuring that there is always a necessary amount available, even if the price might fluctuate beyond some customers’ means.
The same cannot be said of the centrally managed economy of a socialist system, where manufacturers typically lack the freedom to adjust to supply and demand issues, which can result in either an oversupply or shortage of a particular item.
So it is that the socialist island of Cuba appears to be experiencing a shortage of the valuable commodity known as toilet paper, so much so that the communist government’s state-controlled media is actually admitting as much, according to Breitbart.
Breitbart reported that an article in the state-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde described the mysterious “disappearance” of sanitary rolls from stores in the capital city of Havana. The shortage was partially blamed on “hoarding” by self-employed Cubans who operated rent houses and restaurants frequented by tourists, as well as the U.S. embargo on trade of certain goods and materials.
But there is nothing to worry about, dear comrades, because the lone manufacturing plant equipped to produce toilet paper rolls has only been temporarily mired in the process of modernizing its equipment, and there will soon be an abundant supply of toilet paper for all good communists, so help us Castro, or something like that.
The paper explained how, with the help of Italian engineers, the company had begun production of sanitary rolls on two new machines — one to produce soft rolls for tourists, the other more “ecological” rolls for the Cuban people — and would be operating at maximum capacity as soon as all of the workers had been properly trained.
According to Breitbart, the Miami-based Spanish language publication Marti Noticias, is predicting that once the plant is fully operational, it will be capable of producing about eight containers of toilet paper each day, with each container holding approximately 60,490 rolls of the sanitary paper.
The supply issues in Havana will be dealt with first, with distribution to other areas outside of the capital city coming afterwards.
According to Breitbart, the publication Diario de Cuba reported that the government estimated demand for toilet paper over the next year to be about 96 million rolls of toilet paper, but noted that the production facility, at least using the old machines, was only capable of producing a maximum of 52 million rolls.
Obviously, the new machines will help to lessen that deficit in supply of toilet paper rolls, with the rest expected to be made up by imports from such places as Vietnam and other friendly countries.
That paper also blamed some of the current shortage on the aftermath of destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma in September.
As Breitbart noted, the only thing about these stories in the Cuban papers that is unusual is the fact that they are publicly admitting to a shortage of toilet paper, as it has been an ongoing issue for the unfortunate denizens of the socialist island hellhole for decades, ever since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Naturally, as the Cuban people deal with a lack of toilet paper, they have had to search for a suitable replacement to fulfill their sanitary needs, and as it turns out, communist propaganda magazines appear to be the top choice for the role.
Most especially, it was noted that the papers from China and North Korea were the most popular pick to meet that need, as they were printed on the softest paper.
Given that the shortage of toilet paper has been a problem for some time, one must wonder if former President Barack Obama and his entourage were compelled to bring their own supply of sanitary rolls with them during their much-ballyhooed visit to the communist island in 2016.
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