August 07, 2012

Move over, Mayor Bloomberg. Your big-size soda ban was a great start, but, in the Great Soda Wars, you’ve been upstaged by Bolivia.

The central South American country has announced that it will ban the Coca-Cola company by the end of the year. Specifically, Bolivia’s Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, has said that Coca-Cola will be expelled on December 21 as that date is the same on which the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle. The reason: To celebrate the “end of capitalism.”

Forbes quotes Choquehuanca speaking at a political rally for Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales:

“The twenty-first of December 2012 is the end of selfishness, of division. The twenty-first of December has to be the end of Coca-Cola and the beginning of mocochinche (a local peach-flavored soft drink). “The planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism.”

The Bolivian government has been planning to celebrate this date in other ways, including various events that will take place at the Southern Hemisphere’s Summer Solstice on La Isla del Sol, one of the largest islands in Lake Titicaca.

It’s not the first time a large American corporation has found itself out of favor with the country of about 11 million. McDonalds was unable to make a profit there and pulled out in the early 2000s.

The consumption of Coca-Cola products has tripled in Bolivia since 2001 and has increased notably in all Latin American countries. As WorldCrunch says, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has called on his citizens to drink Uvita, a grape juice produced by a state-run company, instead of Coke. According to the Bolivian website Opinion, both Cuba and North Korea ban Coke.

Forbes points out something “curious” about Bolivia’s plan to ban Coke. The Coca-Cola corporation isn’t talking, but coca leaf extract is said to be an ingredient in the secret recipe for Coke:

…sales of coca leaf are big business in Bolivia, accounting for 2% of the country’s GDP, or approximately $270 million annually, and representing 14% of all agricultural sales. Besides, coca is legally sold in wholesale markets in some Bolivian cities. There’s even a cocaine bar in La Paz.

The decision of Coca-Cola’s ban in Bolivia came in a time when the country is pledging to legalize the consumption of coca leaves, which are notoriously processed clandestinely into cocaine, and were declared an illegal narcotic by the UN in 1961, along with cocaine, opium and morphine, in spite of its consumption being a centuries-old tradition there, strongly rooted in the beliefs of various indigenous groups.

Morales charges that “Neither the US nor capitalist countries have a good reason to maintain the ban on coca leaf consumption.” Is his thought to suggest that such a ban on coca leaves is an affront to Bolivia’s traditions, rather than out of serious concerns about illegal narcotics?

A Bolivian blog, Nada nos libre de Escorpio, offers more of a mundane rationale for banning Coke, the connection between obesity and other health problems and the consumption of sugary beverages. “El veneno es asi” (“this is the poison”) is written over a photo of a Coke bottle, alongside a skull under which is a knife and spoon. Keenly aware of the allure of Coke and other aspects of the Western diet, other Latin American countries including Brazil have been making efforts in the form of government policies to preserve traditional foods and eating practices.

If nothing else, Bolivia’s ban on Coke is a wake-up call for us to take a moment and think: How much of the company’s products do we consume, perhaps not Coke but in the form of Dasani bottled water and other beverages? How hard is it for any of us to go Coke-free?
Source

Responses to "Bolivia Bans Coca Cola To Honor Mayan “End of Capitalism”"

  1. Anonymous says:

    To me its just government censoring and control, which is common among communist countries. The people should be allowed to make their own choice whether they want to drink it or not.

  2. Prohibition always a bad idea.

  3. Anonymous says:

    and censoring and control in a capitalist country is done by corporations

  4. Anonymous says:

    When a company distributes something that harms your country or people it should be handled like an illegal drug.

  5. Just amazed that effort is taken for Coca Cola and not alcohol or cigarettes...perhaps then change can really happen ;)

  6. Anonymous says:

    The U.S. needs to follow suit!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nice move guys. A great step forward.

  8. Nina says:

    Unfortunately not ... http://www.rt.com/news/bolivia-coca-cola-ban-770/

  9. Anonymous says:

    why is cola given monopoly worldwide on a drink that is said to not contain cocain, while it still contains a receipe (why secret btw) that indeed DOES contain coca alkaloids, lookup stepan company in usa, they import 400 tons dried koka leaves from peru every year and sell it to the cola company to put in the secret receipe, they then ship it all over the world, and no one knows they are drinking koka alkaloids...

    so why are people made to drink koka alkaloids? perhaps because kokain is addictive? and perhaps that is why people like coca cola so much? biggest question is why is why do they want it illegal for the rest of the world and keep selling their own product to everyone?

    maybe the same reason as hemp is illegal.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Coca the secret ingredient? They took that out a long time ago, unless they have a seperate formula for Bolivia... Perhaps that comment is a ploy to get them to change their mind and favor the corporation as to their own morals. I say good for Bolivia! Fuck obtrusive American corporations and the way they destroy indigenous culture. I hope more countries follow their lead. Too bad Americans are so stupid, brainwashed & complacent to to something so nobal and wise.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Putting their OWN product first will only HELP Bolivia...I've been there, I've lived there...This is not an attempt to "control" like many of you seem to think. It is an attempt to help out their people! OH and BTW, like Nina said, it's not really a complete BAN of Coca Cola...get the full story! :)

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well said Anonymous!!!

  13. bolivia is badass! way to go

  14. Bravo Bolivia, an end to capitalism starts by ending capitalist monopolies. !

  15. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how the people will feel

  16. Anonymous says:

    "No Coke, Pepsi"....John Belushi SNL

  17. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous #7, If an indigenous culture is destroyed by a fizzy drink, it probably wasn't very strong to begin with.

  18. Anonymous says:

    2 thumbs up!

  19. J. Tomlin says:

    Yes, way to go, you mud-squatting idiots and self-hating Western sycophants. Buffoons, all of you.

  20. mikemah says:

    Coca Cola corp is by definition an evil company . Don't forget history folks although they try to rewrite it. The Coca Cola company was and still is guilty of aiding and offering comfort the the enemies of the US . But you don't see any of them getting charged do you ? Check kit out for your self FANTA

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow. I have never read this many ignorant comments in a row.

  22. Anonymous says:

    there could be a black market opertunity here ...opportunity - anyway at least they still get to drink pepsi ( which is better in my opinion )

  23. Dougy says:

    coca cola alone does not destroy indigenous cultures, its the whole christian colonial capatalist regeime taking over the world to mine it, or drill it, or sell it it's crappy products. aindigenous cultures are not weak, they just get taken over easily becuase the reptiles who want to take over have taken the art of genocide down to a science. The take over of indigenous paradises has happened the world over and is discusting and primitive and psychotic and coca cola is just a poster child for this movement

  24. Dougy says:

    well done to bolivia for standing in its power and saying 'we're going to do our own thing, piss off'

  25. Unknown says:

    So after Dec. 2nd the government will disassemble its tax collection systems, as all capitalist activity will have ceased?

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well, when the obesity and diabetes markets crash--what'll they do then--come back crying and begging for more?

  27. Anonymous says:

    LOL yeah man you never know hey they might aswell be doing this to up their own sales on their "own local soft drink" called mocochinche which apperantly will be coke's replacement. . . thus one capitalism trumps another, no?
    oky so their sale of cocoleaves bring in big mula, banning coke doesnt mean they'll stop selling coco leafs, or does it? but still one product that replaces another on the grounds that it's supposed to "celebrate the end of capitalism", doesn't quite fit the bill. unless they really put their ideal of communitarianism out there so, that every one in the community can benifit from the profits made off the new product.

  28. Anonymous says:

    What a bunch of pseudo-communist dopes posting on this thread. Yeah, Coca-Cola is "evil". Boliva and other South American dictatorships "care" about the people. Get a clue, morons.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Who cares what some backwater country does?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I am not sure who is more dense, the Bolivians or the kids posting from their parents' basement in between community college courses to champion the merits of authoritarian rule.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I have not had a Coke in a year or two but after reading this I am ready to enjoy my freedom and a Coke.

  32. Anonymous says:

    "To this day, Coca-Cola still imports coca leaves which are used to manufacture cocaine in the United States"

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032658_Coca-Cola_cocaine.html#ixzz22zWYtQqa"
    Check this! http://www.naturalnews.com/032658_Coca-Cola_cocaine.html

  33. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic move, smart and good - COKE is shit. When it began it was something special but it became a dumb empty meaningless example of American Dumbness. There are many small Col companies that are healthy, use unrefined plants and sugars and put alot more care into the product, actually, just make your own! Capitalism in a small scale is great, Large companies make it dismal and sad.

  34. Morris D. Marsolek says:

    Bolivia, under President Evo Morales, who is 100% indigous (native American Indian) several years ago natonalized the oil and gas industries. Until then all the petroleum industries in Bolivia were foreign owned (they have more oil and gas production potential than any country except Venezuela in Central and South America) Morales ran on a platform that stated "Natural Resources Belong to The people of our Country, not to some foreign Company or Country" He is he only Bolivian president to bre re-elected since 1945. Gasolene is still priced in Bolivia at less the $2 US per gallon, and the profits are used to provide FREE education from Kindergarden all the way through College. Also now provided is free medical care to kids from birth to age 21 They have come a long way scince I was first there 6 years ago. Maybe we can learn something from them.

  35. Madamax says:

    Cool symbolic action to enter a new era! Limited impact but media should love it. What about Pepsi, then, ???

  36. Oh yes, have the government control what you eat or drink. How stupid does one have to be to think that's a good idea?

  37. Anonymous says:

    I am totally addicted to coca cola. One glimpse of a can or advert and I have to have it. I feel GOOD when I am drinking it - it changes my mood. I am quite sure they add something to it to make it so addictive, I don't have this reaction with any other food or drink product.

  38. gina says:

    In California, Coke (as well as Pepsi) is required to change the labeling and content of the 'carmel color' ingredient which is confirmed to be link dot as many as 10k deaths a year. If Coke does not change, they will also be banned in the state of California...read here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/07/148075310/coca-cola-modifies-caramel-color-to-avoid-cancer-warning-label

    so yeah, ban that coke! ban the pepsi too! excited that this kind of protest is taking place in the world.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Symbolic move indeed and as that it sould be seen and evaluated. The nutritional facts are irrelevant or at least not so relevant. \

  40. Jay says:

    a new kind of Coke war will ensue

  41. A brave step by Bolivia! Coca Cola has brought misery the world over; obesity, draining of ground water supplies, polution and the murder of union members in Columbia. It is time to boycott this company worldwide and tell them enough is enough! I've avoided their products for almost 20 years now.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I don't get all the fuss , we all have a choice to drink water no...?? haven't had a coke in years so I don't get all the commotion , we all know that coke and other fizzy sugary colorant filled drinks are bad for you , just stop drinking it , no government ban needed, end of the debate ,the solution is always the most obvious and easiest one , no ? sheeeesh !

  43. SOLECITO says:

    IT IS EASY: WHEN ONE WAY ISN'T WORKING ,THEN CHANMGE THE ROUTE! EVERY CULTURE HAVE RIGHTS TO TAKE OWN DESITIONS, FOR OWN PROFITS THAT'S NOT BAD IDEA, WHY SUPPORTING ALWWAYS THE RICHEST PPL OF THE WORLD THAT OBVIUSLY HAVE BEEN DESTROYING NATURE WITH CONUSMISM ?? THEY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR THE NEXT CENTURIES, JUST TAKE YOUR DRINK AND GO TO OTHER COUTRIES, LET BOLIVIA TAKE PWN DESITIONS ABOUT ECOLOGY AND BUSSINES INSIDE THEIR COUNTRY AND MADE BY AND FOR THEIR PPL...
    COCA COLA COME BACK YOUR COUNTRY, YOU HAVE NOTHING GOOD TO OFFER ,U JUST DESTROYED THE PLANET.BYE BYE COCA COLA! HOPE ALL SOUTHAMERICA FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE.

  44. SOLECITO says:

    SOMETIMES IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO TAKE INDIVIDUAL DESICIONS, SOMETIMES PPL HAVE NOT ACCES TO INFORMATION AND JUST BUY IT CAUSE THEY SAW IT SO MANY TIMES IN TV MAGAZINES WALLS TOILET ETC THAT SO MANY SIGNALS SHOW U ONE WAY: BUY IT.AND THE REAL INFORMATION OF THE PRODUCT IS ALWAYS HIDE BEHIND CONTRACTS MILLIONARES BETWEEN GOVERMENTS AND MULTINATIONALS COMPANIES...END OF CAPITALISM SOUNDS FREEDOM...
    IT IS A BIG IDEA TO BAN THE COCA COLA COMPANY OUT OF COUNTRY...WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING REALLY NECESARY TO LIVE, COME ON

  45. Anonymous says:

    I don't agree that prohibition is always a bad thing. We prohibit murder and photographic evidence of child sexual abuse ("child porn"). I think it's ok to prohibit bad things, although it is even more important to promote good things, like eating organic, local and in a shared way with the people around you.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Bolivia, finally a country getting its act together and doing the right thing, we all need to take a leaf out of their book.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Capitalism is dying as it does not contribute to a healthy human community. Capitalism is destined for failure. Those who have benefited from capitalism have great power and will use it as much as possible to maintain the economic system that has allowed them to accumulate such power. But a wave of consciousness is spreading and cannot be stopped. The change is coming.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Honestly to me this is the kind of lazy, propaganda-driven, vacuous government action that I've come to accept from the pompous "communists" in the Americas. Banning a product only makes the allure for it grow. Why do you think all the teenagers in the Soviet Union wanted Levis and Fender guitars? It doesn't work and it pisses off your people.

    Instead Bolivia and other nations that are hurt by Westernization (and there are a lot of them) should think of ways to out-compete the west on their home turf. How about banning the advertising of all western soft drinks in your nation, then ratcheting up the ad budgets for domestic and traditional alternatives? That was simply off the top of my head.

  49. Anonymous says:

    If you dont like coca-cola dont drink it you idiots. No one is putting a gun to your head. Enough with this anti-capitalist talk. Do I even need to describe the history of communitarianism aka socialism. You're all naive. Educate yourselves. The more power you give to the government the less freedom you have.

  50. Anonymous says:

    http://www.hoax-slayer.com/coke-banned-bolivia.shtml

  51. Anonymous says:

    Capitalism oh Capitalism, the question in my mind now is what is Coca cola saying in all this?

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