The world is fascinated with Cuba’s toilet tissue


If you looked for news stories on Cuba today you would have found the island’s toilet tissue status at the top of the list. Countless newspapers around the world placed among their headlines the announcement from the Cuban state-run company that manufactures the island’s supply that it had warned that the economic crisis and a series of devastating hurricanes had left it unable to guarantee it will be able to produce or import sufficient supplies again until the end of the year. “The corporation has taken all the steps so that at the end of the year there will be an important importation of toilet paper,” said a spokesman for the state conglomerate Cimex. The shipment will enable the state-run company “to supply this demand that today is presenting problems,” he added. Cuba both imports lavatory paper and produces its own, but does not currently have enough raw materials to make it, he said.

President Raul Castro told the national assembly in Havana last week that the government had cut its budget for the second time this year. Few had expected that a decision to cut imports by 20 per cent to save government funds would have an immediate impact on the smallest room of every Cuban home, with lavatory paper among the products that have been disappearing from the shelves of state-run stores. As Cuba’s toilet tissue is notoriously stiff and coarse, the population at large may be thrilled that the present crisis will lead to increased importation.

For a sample of the reports go to

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