In Cuba -- where sudden shortages of everyday products are as commonplace as Fidel columns bashing the oligarchy -- condoms have always been a reliable stand-in for everything from kids' birthday balloons to bootleg beach balls. Even during the worst of times, the government kept dirt-cheap, Chinese-made rubbers on shelves around the nation.
Photo by Gildemax via Wikimedia Commons
But this month, condoms have suddenly become as hard to find in Havana as a George W. Bush T-shirt. The run on prophylactics, along with ongoing potato and beer shortfalls, is casting doubt on the Castro regime's claims that a slowly privatizing economy will make empty store shelves a problem of the past.More »