Lifestyle & Belief

Coca-Cola banned in Bolivia due to impending end of Mayan calendar



Aizar Raldes

Want an ice-cold Coca-Cola in Bolivia? Too bad.

Oh, and you can blame the soon-to-be-ending "fourth world," as told by the Mayan calendar. Seriously.

The Bolivian government has decided to ban Coca-Cola products from its borders, claiming the small South American nation will put an end to American-style capitalism when the ancient calendar sees its last day, reported RT News. 

Forbes reported that Bolivian Minister of External Affairs David Choquehuanca wants to boot Coke to start a new "culture of life in community based societies." 

Choquehuanca promoted the consumption of local beverage Mocochinchi, a soft drink that is made from the juice of dried peaches. 

As Forbes pointed out, the ban is extra ironic as Bolivia is the world's number three producer of coca leaves, according to Reuters, which is reportedly used to make the world-dominating soft drink.

Read more from GlobalPost: Bolivia consults natives on Amazon jungle highway

Due to the coca leaf's rather obvious druggie implications, the Coca-Cola company prefers to neither confirm nor deny such rumors of its role in their recipe. According to NaturalNews, Coca-Cola is one of the only companies in the USA that's allowed to import the leaves, which were used as a painkiller and traditional medicine for millennia in the Andes mountains. 

Don't get excited, however: although there was indeed cocaine in the original Coca-Cola recipe, in the current incarnation, coca is used only as a flavor extract, says Good Business.

The impending end of the current Mayan calendar is slated for December 21, and has prompted much international sturm und drang, though it's worth pointing out a recent archeological discovery extended the calendar considerably, as GlobalPost reported. (But everyone loves a good imminent apocalypse!)

Read more from GlobalPost: New discovery casts doubt on Mayan calendar doomsday

Although Bolivia's leaders are attempting to dump Coca-Cola, they appear to have no such qualms about coca leaves: in March, President Evo Morales defended Bolivians' right to chew coca leaves to Reuters, claiming growers are not merely drug traffickers. 

The 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs declared the humble coca leaf an illegal narcotic, in the same category as such notables as heroin, opium, morphine, and cocaine.