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Venezuelans scrambling to find scarce toilet paper

May 16, 2013 • Business


A customer leaves a private super market with her purchases, including toilet paper, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities _ toilet paper. Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls to boost supplies. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelans scrambled to stock up on toilet paper Thursday as fears of a bathroom emergency spread despite the socialist government’s promise to import 50 million rolls.

After years of economic dysfunction, the country has gotten used to shortages of medicines and basic food items like milk and sugar but the scarcity of bathroom tissue has caused unusual alarm.

“Even at my age, I’ve never seen this,” said 70-year-old Maria Rojas. She said she had been looking for toilet paper for two weeks when she finally found it at a supermarket in downtown Caracas.

Thousands of rolls flew off the store’s shelves as consumers streamed in and loaded up Login to read more

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