Aug 28, 2009
By now most of us are probably aware of the dreaded toilet paper shortage facing Cuba. (For those that aren’t – Cuban officials announced last month due to tough economic times and three successive hurricanes that plagued the communist country last year, they may experience a shortage by year’s end.)
While a truly awful situation, one Havana retiree claims the shortage has created a lucrative business opportunity for Cuban senior citizens. The retiree, speaking anonymously for fear of getting caught, says he and other seniors are currently buying and reselling newspapers as an alternative to toilet paper.
The process works like this – before dawn, they line to purchase surplus newspaper for 20 Cuban cents (.007 USD) from factories/offices that were forced to close due to the ailing economy. They then turn around and resell the paper to friends and neighbors for 20 Cuban pesos (.71 USD).
While one Cuban official has said the government will import enough TP by years end to alleviate the shortage, I credit the seniors for their entrepreneurship.