|Average line in Venezuela|
In a shopping centre in the Sabana Grande district last week, women queued outside a pharmacy for nearly two hours to buy two four-roll packs of toilet paper. In what has become the ultimate indignity for the Venezuelan public – and a huge embarrassment for the regime – shortages of toilet paper mean it is now strictly rationed.Oil prices dropping expose socialism for what it really is: a mess. This shouldn't be happening but it is. Revolution may be around the corner.
In public, the shoppers are stoical, wary of speaking ill of a regime that has a track record of taking revenge on its critics, excluding them from the handouts and government jobs that became the hallmark of Chavez’s rule.
But in private, the anger is intense. “In Venezuela, the country with the world’s largest oil reserves, you have to queue for the right to wipe your backside,” said a queuing taxi driver, who declined to give his name.