Newsprint shortage in Venezuela, caused by government's delays in exchanging local currency for dollars, causes El Universal to reduce its daily's pages to 16 from 24, as it has been unable to pay in dollars for newsprint sitting at port since January

CARACAS, Venezuela , May 5, 2014 () – 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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© 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.