Triple 3x Coca Tea is being sold on street corners all over Caracas, but is it legal?
News for Immediate ReleaseCARACAS, 19 June 2012 | Thousands of people have drunk coca tea in Caracas since the coca leaf was implicitly legalized by Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez in February, 2008. Since then there have been public forums and state declarations signed in Caracas including the ‘Declaration of Caracas’ that March, in favor of the popular and traditional use of the coca leaf. More recently a declaration was signed by 33 heads of state who are members of Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at their summit in December of 2011, supporting the use of the coca leaf in Bolivia and Peru, and now there are new recent initiatives by Latin American leaders to end America’s War on Drugs which were flatly rejected by Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas, suggesting the legalization of coca leaves and marijuana internationally.
Despite being legalized by the Venezuelan president, the United Nations maintains that the coca leaf is illegal in all countries and violates the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, because its the raw material used to produce the illicit chemically altered cocaine hydrochloride, a dangerous yet popular narcotic in the US and Europe. Commercial importation of coca leaves and coca leaf products is prohibited by International Maritime and Aviation law, making it a product difficult to find in Venezuela. Products made using the coca leaf- such as tea bags and candy are scarce except at a few cultural fairs, diplomatic events, and ethnic food stores with connections to the Andean people from Colombia to Argentina.
This doesn’t stop the Coca Tea Company, now part of “infusion Cooltura” as it’s called on Facebook from getting coca leaves and brewing coca tea in Caracas. Thousands of people are drinking Triple Coca Tea right in the center of the city every week; the coca based brew is served everyday on street corners. On weekends and holidays you are likely to find coca tea vendors at cultural events or near the Plaza of the Museums at the entrance of Los Caobos Park serving both hot and cold coca tea to the artisans that line the streets and the public.
|David Wright selling coca tea at cultural event.
Companies such as Coca-Cola and AGWA Liquor use decocainized leaves as flavoring agents; however Wright says, “that decocainizing the coca leaf also removes the nutritional and medicinal properties. The leaf in its natural state is known as a preventive medicine that is effective in controlling and preventing osteoporosis, arthritis, degenerative bone diseases, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, colic, diabetes, cholesterol and it’s also an effective remedy for those wishing to lose weight or regulate their metabolism.”
Wright started a street-side vending business with his wife Sonia called “Teas of the World” on the corner near the central farmer´s market in Caracas two years ago. They served and prepared over 100 different types of teas, tisanes and infusions to shoppers who visit the market daily. One hot summer day, hot tea was not selling too well, so he decided to make a refreshing and energizing cold tea using what was then his most popular hot tea ingredient, coca.
Today he sells his ice cold Triple Coca Tea around the town square at the Bolivar Plaza while he promotes the benefits of the coca leaf with a brochure compiled from his own research into its properties. Last month others began selling his product and distributing the brochures, while he hosted an exposition about the benefits of the coca leaf as food and medicine, and now this month is opening a medicinal tea house and superfood restaurant in the food court of a local mall, near the entrance of the Venezuela National Assembly in front of the Capital Plaza.
Soon many more people will be aware of the enormous benefits of the coca leaf, and there will be lots of coca tea in Caracas for some time to come. -30-
Contact: David Wright, Ekobius International Cooperative, +58 (212) 516-0361 email: email@example.com