Posted by Stephen Cook
Is Coca-Cola Being Thrown Out of Bolivia on December 21, 2012?
Stephen: This story has become more bizarre as the day has evolved. And although it may yet prove to be another Icelandic situation (where possibly misleading reports suggested one thing â€“ that mortgage forgiveness had been declared â€“ but the local government could, or would, not confirm that this was the case) something tells me this one may have some underlying thread of truth to itâ€¦
First up, True Activist, seeÂ Story 1Â belowÂ (Thanks to Les), reported that Coca-Cola was being â€˜toldâ€™ to leave Bolivia by December 21, this year.
According to that report, the countryâ€™s Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Choquehuanca, announced this was a decision which had been made to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar â€“ signifying the end of capitalism.
Then, in an surprisingÂ move, Forbes.com also ran a similar story, in great detail. Also quoting Mr Choquehuanca, and running a large photo of him. SeeÂ Story 2Â below.
Then, later today, The Huffington Post â€“Â Story 3Â â€“ came out with an opposing story saying that the Bolivian government had said that this view â€“ that Coca Cola would leave Bolivia by December 21 â€“ was the Foreign Ministerâ€™s personal wish and/or that this had been taken â€˜out of contextâ€™. Interestingly, The Huffington Post story also linked the Mayan calendar to â€˜the end of the worldâ€ and the word â€˜ apocalypseâ€™.
Yet, something tells me that there could very well be some substanceÂ to the first story â€“ in light of the ever-rising world consciousness and the forward-thinking ways of the BRICS group (which includes many South American countries) but that this â€˜newsâ€™ wasnâ€™t supposed to have been announced yet. Or, at least, â€˜someoneâ€™ didnâ€™t want it to be announced.
The reason I say this, is because the Foreign Minister still has his job and he doesnâ€™t appear to have been admonished by his party, or his leader, who has gently responded that the original story from the Foreign Minister is simply: â€˜his personal wishâ€â€¦ Fascinating,
And so, I have included all three stories for you to read. Whatever is the truth, it is intriguing that both sides of this story have now been picked up and spread very quickly right around the world. In both alternate and mainstream media.
P.S. Please also remember that Mayan calendar researcher and author, Carl Calleman, believes that the Mayan calendar ended on October 28 last year; while many others believe it finishes on December 21 this year.
By True Activist â€“ August 1, 2012
Coca-Cola, one of the planetâ€™s giant corporations, is to be unceremoniously booted out of Bolivia. The announcement was made by Bolivian Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca, who stated that the date chosen, December 21, coincides with the end of the cycle in the Mayan Calendar, the end of capitalism and the start of a culture of life.
Coca Cola will be expelled from Bolivia on the date that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle â€“ December 21. According to the Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Choquehuanca, the decision was taken to expel Coca Cola on the date of the end of the Mayan calendar so as to create a pretext for celebrating the end of capitalism and the beginning of â€œthe culture of lifeâ€ in community-based societies. The celebration will take place at the Southern Hemisphereâ€™s Summer Solstice on La Isla del Sol (Sun Isle) in Lake Titicaca.
â€œThe 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 refreshing drink),â€ said the Foreign Minister at a political rally for Evo Morales. â€œThe planets will line up after 26,000 yearsâ€¦it is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,â€ he added.
The Mayan Calendar
On December 21, 2012, the Mayan Calendar will reach the end. Of what? Not the end of the world, as many believe (and one hopes this time round people will not commit suicide waiting for aliens to come to save them hiding in the tail of a comet). The Mayan Calendar on the beginning of the Summer Solstice reaches the end of a 26,000-year cycle, implying the beginning of a new one.
Whether or not this is the end of the capitalist-monetarist model which we see today remains to be seen: the one which has destroyed full employment and replaced it with endemic unemployment, which has destroyed free universal education and replaced it with a business which churns out generations of simpletons every year who after 12 or 13 years at school are unable to read, are unable to write and whose mental arithmetic skills are absolute zero.
This wonderful model destroyed free universal healthcare and turned it into a business (Sorry, Mrs. Brown, do you know how much money you are actually costing the National Health Service? Now, Mr. Brown do you want us to save your wife if she has a heart attack?) For this new model getting a home has to be a mix between a drama and a chimera and not a birthright, a system where job security does not exist, and neither does security on the streets because policing has been cut back so far the towns and villages have been taken over by marauding packs of animals.
As for Bolivia, imagine the health benefits of not drinking Coca Cola. A can contains 50 mg. of caffeine, while 20 mg, is considered enough to be a stimulant of the central nervous system; the gas â€“ Carbon DiOxide, is
considered to be psychologically addictive. The colour is produced by an additive called e-150.
Boliviaâ€™s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca/ Getty Images
Story 2. Bolivia Set To Banish Coca-Cola To Mark Mayan End Of Capitalism
By Anderson Antunes, Forbes â€“ August 1, 2012
For most Americans, Bolivia is a third world South American country last robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. However this impoverished nation is making headlines due to its Minister of External Affairs recent announcement that the Coca-Cola Company, one of the worldâ€™s largest corporations, is to be booted out of there by yearâ€™s end.
David Choquehuanca, the minister in question, explained that Coca-Cola will be expelled from Bolivia on the same day that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycleâ€“December 21. 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, Boliviaâ€™s government is already planning a series of events that will take place at the Southern Hemisphereâ€™s Summer Solstice on La Isla del Sol, one of the largest islands in Lake Titicaca.
â€œThe 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),â€ Choquehuanca told reporters at a political rally for Boliviaâ€™s president, Evo Morales. â€œThe planets will line up after 26,000 years. It is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,â€ he added.
Itâ€™s already been rumored that Venezuelaâ€™s president, Hugo Chavez, will follow suit, encouraging his country to ditch the American beverage for soft drinks produced locally.
Itâ€™s curious that Bolivia decided to forbid Coca-Cola in its territory, considering that one of the soft drinkâ€™s main ingredients is said to be coca extract (Coca-Cola refuses to confirm that, saying that this is part of their secret formula.)
Whether that is true or not, sales of coca leaf are big business in Bolivia, accounting for 2% of the countryâ€™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. Thereâ€™s even a cocaine bar in La Paz.
The decision of Coca-Colaâ€™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.
â€œNeither the US nor capitalist countries have a good reason to maintain the ban on coca leaf consumption,â€ Morales has been quoted as saying.
Although it may make sense for them to ban Coca-Colaâ€“which screams America and, therefore, capitalismâ€“itâ€™s not the first time that a US company had trouble to find ground in Bolivia. Last year, McDonaldâ€™s finally gave up on the country after being unable to turn a profit for over a decade.
The fast-food giant failure was chronicled in a documentary titled â€˜Why McDonaldâ€™s Failed in Bolivia.â€™ The movie goes by referencing surveys, sociologists, nutritionists and historians, culminating with McDonaldâ€™s conclusion that their food wasnâ€™t the issue, but a culturally driven boycott.
That wasnâ€™t the case for Coca-Cola, though. According to the companyâ€™s annual report, its presence in Bolivia has grown considerably in the last few decades, as in the rest of South America. Since 2001 consumption of Coke products has more than tripled in Bolivia alone.
Still no word if Pepsi will be treated likewise.
Bolivian President Evo Morales
Story 3:Â Bolivia Foreign Minister Predicts End Of Capitalism After Mayan â€˜Apocalypseâ€™
By The Huffington Post â€“ August 1, 2012
The Bolivian government does not plan to expel Coca-Cola, the government announced Wednesday. The administration says the finance ministerâ€™s comments were taken out of context.
Earlier this month, Bolivian foreign minister David Choquehuanca said that he hoped the country would mark the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st by saying good-bye to Coca-Cola.
â€œDecember 21 of 2012 will be the end of egoism and division. December 21 should be the end of Coca-Cola,â€ Choquehuanca said, according to Russian news agency, RT.
Following his comment, news of Boliviaâ€™s banishment of Coca-Cola began circulating the Internet, with some saying the ministerâ€™s statements represented a â€œsymbolic rejection of US capitalism.â€
However, foreign ministry spokesperson Consuelo Ponce announced Wednesday that the statement made by Choquehuanca was taken out of context and that the country has no intention of banning Coca-Cola.
Instead it appears that the foreign minister was merely revealing his personal hopes.
Unlike the doomsayers who have predicted the apocalypse to occur on Dec. 21, Choquehuanca said he is optimistic that the end of the Mayan calendar will usher in a new and more progressive era â€” one that will see â€œthe end of hatred and the beginning of love.â€
â€œThe planets will align for the first time in 26,000 years and this is the end of capitalism and the beginning of communitarianism,â€ he said.
The minister added that the people of Bolivia should opt to drink Mocochinchi â€” a local peach-flavored drink â€” as an alternative to Coke products, Russian newspaper Pravda reports.
What Choquehuanca failed to mention, however, is that the Bolivian governmentâ€™s other drink of choice â€” a fizzy energy drink called â€œCoca-Collaâ€ â€” was given the stamp of approval by Bolivian president Evo Morales.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, it was stated that McDonaldâ€™s had left Bolivia in 2011. The fast food franchise had, in fact,Â left the country in 2002.