But at least they still have free world class health care … don’t they?

Cash-strapped Cuba says toilet paper running short

Cuba, in the grip of a serious economic crisis, is running short of toilet paper and may not get sufficient supplies until the end of the year, officials with state-run companies said on Friday.

Officials said they were lowering the prices of 24 basic goods to help Cubans get through the difficulties provoked in part by the global financial crisis and three destructive hurricanes that struck the island last year.

Cuba’s financial reserves have been depleted by increased spending for imports and reduced export income, which has forced the communist-led government to take extraordinary measures to keep the economy afloat.

“The corporation has taken all the steps so that at the end of the year there will be an important importation of toilet paper,” an official with state conglomerate Cimex said on state-run Radio Rebelde.

The shipment will enable the state-run company “to supply this demand that today is presenting problems,” he said.

I’m sure the Cuban people are resting well tonight, secure in the knowledge that Havana’s central planners have that whole “supply and demand” thing well under control. In a worker’s paradise, it is a privilege to have funky butt for six months. Comrade Fidel expects nothing less from every patriotic Cuban.

But I’d bet that toilet paper is never in short supply in the Presidential Palace.

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