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Bolivia, Peru, Colombia: Coca

A small Andean plant which was once used to flavor Coca-Cola, continues to make waves across the Western Hemisphere. Niko Kyriakou, writing from Caracas, describes the cultural and legal differences between South America and North America regarding the plant, which can be refined to make cocaine. Wall Street Cafe says that Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala's idea to feed hungry children illogical because coca leaves induce a loss of apetite. Jeanette Irwin got a good laugh when Bolivian President Evo Morales handed Condolezza Rice a guitar inlaid with coca leaves. Not wanting to disappoint hardliner Álvaro Uribe, Steven Taylor has a photo of Morales gifting the Colombian president a portrait of Simon Bolívar made out of coca leaves.

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