Venezuela Bans Booze to Mourn Chavez
The nation goes dry for a full week after the passing of their president.
Venezuelans won't be able to pour one out over the death of President Hugo Chavez because the sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned nationwide for a week. The Venezuela Interior Ministry will enforce the dry mourning period, along with a ban on carrying weapons, until March 12. Instead, throngs of Chavez loyalists may pass the time weeping or chanting over his flag-draped casket at a funeral service open to the public. “After Jesus Christ, there's Hugo Chavez,” says a sober mourner who says her family lived in poverty before his reign. “Before him, the government didn't care about us... Now children have everything.” This is not the first time a country has implemented a state-mandated dry spell after the passing of a leader. After Kim Jong-il's death last year, North Korea implemented a 100-day mourning period in which citizens were to abstain from "pleasurable" activities, including drinking alcohol. One North Korean officer accused of drinking was allegedly “forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and 'obliterated.'” No word on what kind of punishment the Venezuelan government has planned for those who break the ban.