The Cuban government says a newsprint shortage is forcing at least six state-run newspapers to cut back on pages and circulation days in a potent sign of the cash shortage confronting the island.

The newspaper Granma said in Thursday editions that the Cuban Communist Party organ and several other papers are cutting back from 16 to eight pages on Wednesdays and Fridays. The changes take effect Friday. The newspaper of the Communist Youth League, Juventud Rebelde, will stop publishing on Saturdays.

Granma attributed the change to "difficulties in the availability of newsprint in the country." The government has been suffering cash-flow problems forcing cutbacks in a wide range of imported products.

The last major cutback in newsprint was during the "special period" after the fall of the Soviet Union.