- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2013

Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced the “temporary occupation” of a factory that produces toilet paper in the state of Aragua to review the “production, marketing and distribution (of) toilet paper,” following embarrassing shortages earlier this year.

Critics of Socialist President Nicolas Maduro say the nagging shortages of basic necessities are a sign his government’s rigid price controls are failing, Reuters reported.

A national regulating agency called Sundecop said it would occupy a Manpa factory for 15 days, adding that National Guard troops would “safeguard” the facility, Reuters reported.

“The action in the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers responds to the state’s obligation to ensure a steady supply of basic goods for the people,” Sundecop said in a statement, adding it had observed “the violation of the right” to access such products, Reuters said.

The government has blamed private companies for contributing to the shortages, accusing them of hoarding their products in hopes of selling them later at a higher price.

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