How the Reds Saved the Newspaper Business


First, prevent citizens from buying computers with which they will access free (and hopelessly bourgeois) news. After lifting the ban, make sure your fellow comrades have no money with which to purchase out-of-date computers, probably running some commie version of OS/2 Warp. If they eventually cobble together enough cash from relatives abroad, be sure to limit Internet access to government approved websites—accessed from libraries and schools only, never the home—because the uncensored Internet "constitute[s] one of the tools for global extermination." It's also "bad for democracy," because people stop buying print copies of newspapers and, the next thing you know, your favorite columnist from Juventude Rebelde is contributing, pro bono, to the Huffington Post. Final step? Create a shortage of toilet paper:

Day-old copies of the Communist party's newspaper Granma, a traditional substitute [for toilet paper], are available for less than a U.S. penny. And that's six to eight full, if rough, pages per day. Cuban officials say the shortage is the result of the global financial crisis and three devastating hurricanes last summer, which forced cuts in imports as well as domestic production because of reductions in electricity and imports of raw materials. 

But CNN commentator Fareed Zakaria says that "at the bottom of this toilet paper shortage is Cuba's continuing commitment to its bizarro world of socialist economics."

"Cuba's disastrous economy would be a joke were it not for the poverty it has perpetuated among millions of Cubans," Zakaria said in a video commentary posted last week. "The whole country is stagnating. Fifty percent of its arable fields are going unfarmed. First and second year college students work one month out of the year in agriculture."

Whole article, from The Miami Herald