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Messages Claim Coca Cola to be Banned In Bolivia

Messages circulating via social media claim that Coca Cola will be officially banned in the South American nation of Bolivia on December 21st, 2012.

Brief Analysis
Despite claims in initial news reports, there is apparently no official government plan to ban the beverage in Bolivia. Early in August 2012, Bolivia’s Minister of External Affairs, David Choquehuanca was quoted in news reports as confirming that the Coca Cola company would be banned from the country by December 21, 2012. However, according to subsequent news reports, another Bolivian government spokesperson has since downplayed Choquehuanca's initial comments, noting that the proposed ban is not official and that the comments were decontextualized and blown out of proportion by the media.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

Last updated: August 7, 2012
First published: August 7, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer

Coke to Banned in Bolivia Message

There has been much speculation surrounding the end of the Mayan calendar this December. But rather than Armageddon style prophesies it may be the end-of-the-capitalist-world changes that make the most significant mark.

On December 21, 2012 Coca Cola will be officially banned in Bolivia.

Detailed Analysis
In August 2012, reports that Coca Cola was set to be banned in Bolivia by December 2012 went "viral" with various messages about the proposed ban circulating via social media, blog posts and email. The messages were derived from news reports that quoted Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca as announcing the ban, slated to take place on December 21, 2012. For example, an August 1st Forbes article on the issue noted:

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 cycle–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, 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.

However, the Bolivian Government quickly moved to downplay the minister's comments by stating that such a ban was not official. An August 2nd Wall Street Journal article explains:

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia—The Coca-Cola Company looks set to stay in Bolivia after a government official said Thursday recent comments by a high ranking minister that hinted at an exit later this year were blown out of proportion by the media.

"Foreign Minister [David] Choquehuanca's statements about Coca-Cola were taken out of context and there is nothing official," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Consuelo Ponce said.

Coca-Cola fans in the landlocked Andean nation are relieved Bolivia won't join Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar as the only countries in the world where the beverage giant doesn't have operations.

Reports the Bolivian government was planning to give Coca-Cola the boot went viral on the Internet this week.

A Fox News Latino report concurs, noting:

Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca's statements about the "end" of Coca-Cola on Dec. 21 were taken out of context in media reports alleging the U.S.-based company would be kicked out of Bolivia on that date, a government spokesman said.

"The foreign minister's statements were decontextualized and there is nothing official," Foreign Ministry public affairs office chief Consuelo Ponce told Efe.

So, it seems that Bolivian Coca Cola fans may have a reprieve. For now, at least.

Bookmark and Share References
Bolivia Set To Banish Coca-Cola To Mark Mayan End Of Capitalism
Bolivia Downplays Reports of Coca-Cola Exit
Bolivia: Minister's Coca-Cola comments taken out of context

Last updated: August 7, 2012
First published: August 7, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer