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More tales of socialist 'progress' in South America

Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chavez's handpicked successor. (Getty Images)

If you thought the Venezuelan toilet paper shortage was bad, consider this...

Via the BBC, emphasis mine:

The Catholic Church in Venezuela has said it is running out of wine to celebrate Mass because of nationwide shortages of basic supplies.

It said the scarcity of some products had forced the country's "only wine maker" to stop selling to the Church.

Critics blame the shortages on tight state control of the economy and inadequate domestic production.

But the government insists that an opposition-led conspiracy and price speculations are the problem. [...]

But the problem was not limited to wine, [Church spokesman Monsignor Lucker] said.

"The makers of consecrated bread have told us that they'll have to raise prices because they can't find enough flour.

"Wheat is not grown here - it all comes from abroad," he said.

"A packet of consecrated bread used to cost 50 bolivar ($8, £5), but it's now 100."

Update: Walter Russell Mead offers yet another "glittering success" story of socialism from Argentina:

Not to be outdone, Argentina is facing an economic collapse of its own in which inflation, import taxes, and import restrictions have made goods either impossibly overpriced or impossible to find. Worse, the Economist reports, restricted access to foreign currency has forced ordinary Argentines to buy dollars on the black market at nearly double the official rate.  Fortunately, many Argentines are exploiting a loophole which, if nothing else, will keep the airlines in business...


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