December 02, 2002

McDonald’s yesterday closed all of its restaurants in Bolivia, just one of several foreign countries from which the fast-food chain has decided to withdraw.

The despair was palpable, as thousands descended upon their nearest McDonald’s for one last Big Mac.

“I guess Bolivia will never be a fully globalized and capitalized country like the United States,” said Alberto Bermudes. “I grew up with McDonald’s, I celebrated my birthdays in McDonald’s, I even wanted to work at McDonald’s. I feel deceived, and most of all sad.”

But Bolivians, with their proud and often troubled history, are a wise people. Angelica Carrasco, a teacher, knows cultural imperialism when she sees it. No, not in the invasion of Bolivia by McDonald’s, but in its departure.

“McDonald’s threw us out like a third world country in search of greener pastures,” she fumed. “I don’t think McDonald’s was ever that serious about us anyway.”

I feel your pain, Señorina Carrasco. Diss’ed by McDonald’s. That’s gotta’ hurt.

It could not be confirmed whether, in a gesture of good will, the restaurants’ managers abandoned the day’s up-selling message, “Would you like a delicious McDonald’s Hot Apple Pie to go with that?”


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