| June 11, 2009 | 11:28am
Hugo Chávez hates America, and now he's banning a product close to our hearts: Coke Zero. A weird-tasting, chemical-laden, no-calorie substitute for an iconic soft drink we consume in order to feel a bit "healthier" is pretty much as good a symbol for modern America as anything.
"The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans," said Health Minister Jesus Mantilla, offering little clarification as to what dire health threats Coke Zero presents.
Coke says there's no harmful ingredients in the product but has agreed to pull Coke Zero while that crazy government investigates the dangers of full-flavored diet soft drinks.
Sure, Chávez's hatred for all things American might be an easy explanation, but Riptide wouldn't be surprised if the dictator soon signs an endorsement deal with Pepsi Max featuring a full campaign running in places he's popular, such as Bolivia, Cuba, and San Francisco. (Haha, because it's so liberal out there. Don't say Riptide never attempts to make "conservative humor." That is funny to you conservatives, right? San Francisco?)
It's also possible Chávez could have discovered that Coke Zero is often used as a main ingredient in the subversive, capitalist cocktail the Cuba libre. We are just hilarious this morning.