Venezuela Paper Shortage Forces Newspapers To Shut Down

First it was the toilet paper shortage; now its’ a printing paper shortage which has forced newspapers to shut down.

ABC News reported that at least five regional newspapers have stopped circulating at some point in the past month due to the lack of printing paper, and nearly 25 more are depleting their last reserves.

The Denver Post stated that, because of South American nation’s currency controls and short supply of US dollars, editors and importers are unable to obtain the hard currency required to pay for newsprint manufactured abroad.

“I only have enough paper for around 25 days,’ said Juan Carlos Escare, the editor-in-chief of Mundo Oriental, a newspaper in the central state of Anzoategui. “We’re in crisis.”

“We’ll have everything for the December holidays: presents, hallacas [a traditional Christmas food that resembles tamales], and whiskey, but we won’t have newspapers,” said Rogelio Díaz, a spokesperson for Bloque de Prensa Regional de Venezuela, an association of independent regional newspapers.

The Denver Press stated that more than half the country’s local press is within weeks of going out of print.

“Some newspapers have had to cut their print runs, others only have a few weeks left of paper,’ said Carlos Correa, president of Open Space, a Caracas-based organization that focuses on human rights and freedom of speech.

Rogelio Diaz, head of the Regional Press Organization, pointed to a downward trend. “Provincial newspapers are going out of print,’ he said. “Papers that used to contain 32 pages now have 24. Those that used to have 24 pages, now have 16.”

The paper shortage isn’t only effecting the newspaper companies.

Carlos Ortiz is a graphic designer based in Caracas and says that he needs paper to continue running his business.

“It’s the backbone of our business, having paper. Not having paper is not having a job,’ Ortiz said.

According to The Denver Post, Venezuela has long suffered shortages of basic goods, including chicken, cooking oil and, most infamous, toilet paper, and now the Venezuela paper shortage

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