Hugo Chavez Declares War — on Beer

Hugo Chavez Declares War -- on Beer

Huge Chavez, Venezuela’s loony leftist leader, has seized several warehouses belonging to the Empresas Polar brewing company and has ordered the Venezuela military to crack down on businesses selling beer. Chavez is threatening to completely shut down Empresas Polar, perhaps due to political differences with Larry Mendoza, President of Empresas Polar.

Mendoza received a Bachelors Degree at Fordham University and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a billionaire businessman who has led his family businessman to diversify into products such as Helados Efe ice cream, Las Llaves biodegradeable soap, maize flour, margarine, ketchup, mayonnaise, and numerous snack foods. Empresas Polar also bottles Pepsi for the Venezuelan and North Andean markets. Mendoza also leads the Fundación Empresas Polar, one of Venezuela’s largest charitable organizations.

Chavez publicly taunted Mendoza with threats, saying “I don’t know what you’re going to do … with your little Polarcita.” This is most likely an attempt to bully Mendoza into line politically or it may be more direct pressure to elicit a political “contribution” from Empresas Polar.

Chavez is pushing Venezuelans’ towards a somber and humorless socialism, leading with the phrase “Socialist fatherland or death.” Venezuelans, taking a lighthearted approach to Chavez’s bureaucratic bluster, have lampooned his slogan with their own: “Booze, alcoholism, or death — we will drink.”

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