Paper shortage cuts size of Venezuelan daily

In this Jan. 28, 2014 photo, journalists and employees of the capital's newspapers protest outside CADIVI, the state agency that regulates the purchase of U.S. dollars, with a sign that reads in Spanish "Paper" in Caracas, Venezuela. El Universal says it will publish 16 pages a day as of Monday, May 5, 2014, down from its regular 24 pages, and that it can keep that up for two more weeks. El Universal says it has had paper sitting in a Venezuelan port since January, but needs dollars to release it from bond. It blames government delays in allowing it to exchange the local currency for dollars. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A leading Venezuelan newspaper is cutting the size of its daily editions because of a newsprint shortage.

El Universal says it will publish 16 pages a day as of Monday, down from its regular 24 pages. It says it can keep that up for two more weeks. Several other papers already have slimmed or shut down, blaming government currency controls.

El Universal says it has had paper sitting in a Venezuelan port since January, but needs dollars to release it from bond. It blames government delays in allowing it to exchange the local currency for dollars.

The government sells hard currency at low prices, but importers complain it can take months for officials to approve the exchanges, leading to shortages of imports, which result in reduced production for many goods.

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