Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Chávez: No more Polar

Hugo “el Burro” Chávez is prone to giving long drawn out speeches, but with much less eloquence than his Cuban homologue (not raúl, but the dying one). It seems that beer is one of the drinks of choice while listening to a Chávez speech. It is the anesthetic of choice to dull the mind and the numb the senses while the man on the podium tirades against the Devil and Mr. Danger. That is to be no more! Now Venezuelans, and specially the poor ones, must be sober when the tyrant speaks. The sale of beer right from the trucks that carry them will be forbidden in poor neighborhoods. So it shall be written, so it shall be done, says the Taliban leader of Venezuela.

Chavez's new No. 1 enemy? Beer
Oct. 11, 2006. 08:37 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela's president has a new public enemy: beer trucks.
President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday he is fed up with seeing beer trucks sell alcohol directly on the streets of poor neighbourhoods.

"It's the degeneration of society. It's one of the causes of public drunkenness in the slums," he said as he declared he was putting a ban on the beer runs.

"As of today, I want the National Guard to stop the beer trucks and take them to the nearest command post. No more trucks," he said in a televised speech.

Chavez was speaking before participants in a state program aimed at helping alcoholics, the homeless and street children. The crowd had cheered him enthusiastically earlier in his speech, but his beer decree was met with a lukewarm response and scattered applause.
Chavez assured his audience he was not banning the consumption of alcohol.

The leader's order apparently was aimed at trucks that sell beer directly on the streets of poor neighbourhoods, rather than those delivering to liquor stores or other established businesses. Selling alcohol requires a licence.

Although drinking alcohol in public areas is illegal in Venezuela, bottles of beer are often downed on street corners, and it's a preferred thirst-quencher at public rallies — including during some of Chavez's long-running speeches.

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