Yeah, Communist regimes force people to smuggle, just like people in countries on which the USA put an economic embargo. Iran cannot build its own refineries because the needed technology is denied to them. Iran and other countries cannot get medical machinery for the same reason. So, sure, things get smuggled into the country. The whole Iraq invasion was for America to get back control over the oil smuggling routes which were aquired by Saddam Hussein. Smuggled oil gets a much higher return and smuggling oil is one of the main economic activities in the region.
Generally, smuggling isn't done to get otherwise unavailable products but to avoid paying the enormous taxes imposed by 'democratic' regimes. Best examples are tobacco and alcohol. Belgium, Holland, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand all had Socialist leaders/regimes for decades. No genocides and a failure rate equivalent to other political parties. America replaced every single democratically elected president in South America with a dictator. Pinochet, Stroessner, Videla and so on, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and missing, all thanks to America's view on freedom and democracy. The Iran-Contragate debacle was all about smuggling weapons into Iran to get the US Embassy workers out. So, yeah, smuggling is something that happens, but it's not something that is typical for communist regimes.
Just like Communism, smuggling or smuggler got a bad name because it's what the 'democratic' state wanted. People who don't pay taxes must be vilified, even when those taxes are unconstitutional.
Then there's the smuggling of products that have been deemed illegal. Cocaine, Heroin, Opium, even canabis. All extracts from plants that at one point were fully legal to use until a way was needed to clear 'subversives' like Timothy Leary from society. That's why some drugs were declared illegal overnight. Not because they were deemed dangerous but because it was a means to an end. And Noriega was put in place in Panama by the USA.
Why do you think Afghanistan was so important to the USA? Because it was and still is the region with the highest percentage of White Poppies, used to make opium. Why was Laos and Cambodja so important. To set-up drug routes directly from the source. So, again, yeah, smuggling happens. And it's only seen as a crime when it's not done by the government.
The mob was only able to get so much power thanks to prohibition and the smuggling of booze. If I didn't know any better, I'd think the prohibition was executed solely with that purpose; to make the mob big. The only reason Fidel Castro needed to go was because the mob and US high society lost their gambling holes.