|Coca Leaves at Market, via|
Forbes reports that Bolivia's Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, announced that Coca-Cola will be banned in Bolivia on December 21, when the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle.
According to Choquehuanca, the date marks the end of capitalism and the start of a culture of life in community-based societies. In order to celebrate that, Bolivia’s government is already planning a series of 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.
“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),” Choquehuanca told reporters at a political rally for Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales. “The planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,” he added....and drinking local, I guess.
Far from banning "coca" itself, however, Bolivia is pledging to legalize the consumption of coca leaves, a centuries-old tradition strongly rooted in the beliefs of indigenous peoples.
There may be hope for Coke drinkers in Bolivia, however, as Consuelo Ponce, the spokeswoman to the nation’s David Choquehuanca, insisted that his comments, made by the politician during a July 13 rally for Bolivian President Evo Morales, “were taken out of context.”
Coca-Cola, Bolivia, had no immediate comment on the matter.
McDonald's pulled out of Bolivia in the early 2000s for not being able to turn a profit there.