And I thought the United States had it bad with the recession.

The global economic crisis is hitting Cuba so hard that it is running out of toilet paper and may not get more until the end of the year, according to a Reuters story quoting officials from state-run companies.

Cuba imports toilet paper and produces its own, but doesn't have enough raw materials to make it.

Officials are lowering the prices of 24 basic goods to help citizens get through difficulties from the global financial crisis and three hurricanes that struck the island last year.

Increased spending for imports and reduced export income have depleted the financial reserves of the communist-led government as it tries to keep the economy afloat.

"The corporation has taken all the steps so that at the end of the year there will be an important importation of toilet paper," said an official with state conglomerate Cimex on state-run Radio Rebelde.

It will allow the state-run company to "supply this demand that today is presenting problems," he said.

We don't need to get specific of what those problems are, but I'm betting leaves are becoming a commodity in Havana.

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