{"177483":{"id":"177483","parent":"0","time":"1596224820","url":"http:\/\/www.globalresearch.ca\/elon-musk-overthrow-democracy-bolivia\/5719934","category":"Justice","title":"Lithium and the Overthrow of Democracy in Bolivia","lead_image_url":"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/img\/newsnet_177483_8ZaNoHvT3xw.jpg","hub":"newsnet","url-explicit":"lithium-and-the-overthrow-of-democracy-in-bolivia","admin":"newsnet","views":"42","priority":"3","length":"10265","lang":"en","content":"\u003Cimg src=\"http:\/\/newsnet.fr\/\/img\/newsnet_177483_742fe1.jpg\" \/\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003EOn July 24, 2020, Tesla's \u003Cb\u003EElon Musk\u003C\/b\u003E \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1286673686821515266_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E wrote\u003C\/a\u003E on Twitter that a second US \"government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people.\" Someone \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1286867520314642443_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E responded\u003C\/a\u003E to Musk soon after, \"You know what wasn't in the best interest of people? The US government organizing a coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so you could obtain the lithium there.\" Musk then \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.telesurenglish.net\/news\/elon-musk-confesses-to-lithium-coup-in-bolivia-20200725-0010.html\"\u003Ewrote\u003C\/a\u003E: \"We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.\"\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EMusk refers here to the coup against \u003Cb\u003EPresident Evo Morales Ayma\u003C\/b\u003E, who was removed illegally from his office in November 2019. Morales had just won an election for a term that was to have begun in January 2020. Even if there was a challenge against that election, Morales' term should rightfully have continued through November and December of 2019. Instead, the Bolivian military, at the behest of Bolivia's far right and the United States government, threatened Morales; Morales went into exile in Mexico and is now in Argentina.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAt that time, the \"evidence\" of fraud was offered by the far right and by a \"preliminary \u003Ca href=\"http:\/\/www.oas.org\/documents\/eng\/press\/Preliminary-Report-EOM-Bolivia-23-10-19.pdf\" target=\"_blank\"\u003Ereport\u003C\/a\u003E\" by the Organization of American States; only after Morales was removed from office was there grudging acknowledgement by the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2020\/06\/07\/world\/americas\/bolivia-election-evo-morales.html\"\u003Eliberal\u003C\/a\u003E media that there was in fact no evidence of fraud. It was too late for Bolivia, which has been condemned to a dangerous government that has suspended democracy in the country.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cb\u003ELithium Coup\u003C\/b\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EOver his 14 years in office, Morales fought to use the wealth of Bolivia for the Bolivian people, who saw - after centuries of oppression - remarkable advances in their basic needs. Literacy rates rose and hunger rates dropped. The use of Bolivia's wealth to advance the interests of the people rather than North American multinational corporations was an abomination to the US embassy in La Paz, which had egged on the worst elements of the military and the far right to overthrow the government. This is just what happened in November 2019.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EMusk's admission, however intemperate, is at least honest. His company Tesla has long wanted access at a low price to the large \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/peoplesdispatch.org\/2019\/11\/13\/after-evo-the-lithium-question-looms-large-in-bolivia\"\u003Elithium\u003C\/a\u003E deposits in Bolivia; lithium is a key ingredient for batteries. Earlier this year, Musk and his company revealed that they wanted to build a Tesla factory in Brazil, which would be supplied by lithium from Bolivia; when we \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/peoplesdispatch.org\/2020\/03\/10\/elon-musk-is-acting-like-a-neo-conquistador-for-south-americas-lithium\"\u003Ewrote\u003C\/a\u003E about that we called our report \"Elon Musk Is Acting Like a Neo-Conquistador for South America's Lithium.\" Everything we wrote there is condensed in his new tweet: the arrogance toward the political life of other countries, and the greed toward resources that people like Musk think are their entitlement.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EMusk went on to delete his tweet. He then \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1286867520314642443_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E said\u003C\/a\u003E, \"we get our lithium from Australia\"; this will not settle the issue, since eyebrows are being raised in Australia regarding the environmental \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.wired.co.uk\/article\/lithium-batteries-environment-impact\"\u003Edamage\u003C\/a\u003E from lithium mining.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cb\u003ESuspension of Democracy\u003C\/b\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EAfter Morales was removed, an insignificant far-right politician named Jeanine \u00c1\u00f1ez set aside the constitutional process and seized power. She showed the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2019\/11\/16\/world\/americas\/bolivia-anez-morales.html\"\u003Echaracter\u003C\/a\u003E of her politics when she signed a presidential decree on November 15, 2019, that gave the military the right to do whatever it wanted; even her allies found this to be too far and repealed it on November 28.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EArrests and intimidation of activists from the Movement for Socialism (MAS) - the party of Morales - began in November 2019 and still continue. On July 7, 2020, seven US senators published a \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.murphy.senate.gov\/newsroom\/press-releases\/murphy-dem-senators-to-pompeo-call-for-free-and-fair-elections-in-bolivia-criticize-interim-government-for-abusive-oversteps\"\u003Estatement\u003C\/a\u003E that said, \"We are increasingly concerned by the growing number of human rights violations and curtailments of civil liberties by the interim government of Bolivia.\" \"Without a change in course by the interim government,\" the senators wrote, \"we fear that basic civil rights in Bolivia will be further eroded and the legitimacy of the crucial upcoming elections will be put at risk.\"\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThere's no need to worry about that, since the government of \u00c1\u00f1ez seems unwilling to hold an election. By all polls, \u00c1\u00f1ez looks likely to be defeated in the general elections. A recent poll by El Centro Estrat\u00e9gico Latinoamericano de Geopol\u00edtica (CELAG) \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.celag.org\/encuesta-bolivia-julio-2020\"\u003Esays\u003C\/a\u003E that \u00c1\u00f1ez will get a mere 13.3 per cent, far behind the Movement for Socialism's Luis Arce (41.9 per cent) and the center right's Carlos Mesa (26.8 per cent). The election was supposed to have taken place in May, but it was rescheduled for September 6; it has now been \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.jornada.com.mx\/2020\/07\/24\/mundo\/025n2mun\"\u003Epostponed\u003C\/a\u003E once more, this time to October 18. Bolivia would not have had an elected government for an entire year.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ELuis Arce of MAS recently \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/peoplesdispatch.org\/2020\/04\/30\/bolivias-socialist-presidential-candidate-luis-arce-speaks-about-elections-covid-19-and-fascist-oppression\"\u003Etold\u003C\/a\u003E Oliver Vargas, \"We face persecution, we face surveillance... we are facing a very difficult campaign.\" But, he said, \"we are sure that we will win these elections.\" If elections are permitted.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe CELAG study shows that 9 out of 10 Bolivians have seen their incomes decline due to the coronavirus recession. Because of this - and of the attack by this government on the MAS - 65.2 per cent of Bolivians have a negative appraisal of \u00c1\u00f1ez. It is important to note that due to the positive policies of Morales' MAS, there is widespread support for a socialist orientation; 64.1 per cent of Bolivians support taxes against the rich, and Bolivians in general support the resource socialism of the MAS and Morales.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cb\u003ECoronaShock and Bolivia\u003C\/b\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe government of \u00c1\u00f1ez has been utterly incompetent regarding the coronavirus. The number of \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/boliviasegura.gob.bo\"\u003Econfirmed\u003C\/a\u003Ecases of COVID-19 in this country of 11 million people is 66,456; since \u003Ca href=\"http:\/\/youtube.com\/watch?v=8ZaNoHvT3xw\" target=\"_blank\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-chain\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E youtube\u003C\/a\u003E is low, the number is likely much higher.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EMusk returns to our story. Earlier this year, on March 31, Bolivia's Foreign Minister Karen Longaric wrote an obsequious \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1286877123815378944_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E letter\u003C\/a\u003E to Musk asking him about the \"offer of cooperation posted by you regarding ventilators ready to be dispatched to countries where they are needed the most.\" Longaric said, \"If it is not possible to send it to Bolivia, we can arrange its receipt in Miami, FL. and transport them from there as quickly as possible.\" No such ventilators came.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EInstead, the government bought ventilators from a Spanish supplier for \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.reuters.com\/article\/us-health-coronavirus-bolivia-ventilator\/bolivia-investigates-health-officials-over-ventilator-deal-after-public-outcry-idUSKBN22W337\"\u003E$27,000\u003C\/a\u003E for each of the 170 devices; Bolivian producers had said they could supply ventilators for $1,000 per unit. The health minister in the \u00c1\u00f1ez government - Marcelo Navajas - was \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.paginasiete.bo\/sociedad\/2020\/5\/20\/con-cartas-navajas-instruyo-comprar-los-respiradores-trasladarlos-por-boa-256083.html\"\u003Earrested\u003C\/a\u003E for this scandal.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cb\u003EMorales\u003C\/b\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EEvo Morales read Musk's tweet about the coup in Bolivia and \u003Ca onclick=\"SaveJ('popup_app__3_twit_call_1287064230835957762_tweet');\" class=\"txtx\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"philum ic-tw\" style=\"font-size:16px;\"\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E responded\u003C\/a\u003E: \"Elon Musk, the owner of the largest electric car company, says about the coup in Bolivia: 'We will coup whoever we want.' Another proof that the coup was about Bolivian lithium; at the cost of two massacres. We will always defend our resources!\"\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe reference to the massacres is important. In November, from Mexico City, Morales watched as the government of \u00c1\u00f1ez let loose the dogs of war against the people of Bolivia from Cochabamba to El Alto. \"They are killing my brothers and sisters,\" Morales \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.yucatan.com.mx\/mexico\/evo-morales-estan-matando-a-mis-hermanos-en-bolivia\"\u003Esaid\u003C\/a\u003E at a press conference. \"This is the kind of thing the old military dictatorships used to do.\" It is the toxic character of the government of \u00c1\u00f1ez, backed fully by the US government and Elon Musk.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EProtests across Bolivia began on July 27 for the restoration of democracy.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E*\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ENote to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003EThis article was produced by \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/independentmediainstitute.org\/globetrotter\"\u003EGlobetrotter\u003C\/a\u003E, a project of the Independent Media Institute.\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003E\u003Cb\u003EVijay Prashad\u003C\/b\u003E is an Indian historian, editor and journalist. He is author of \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mayday.leftword.com\/catalog\/product\/view\/id\/18686\/s\/red-star-over-the-third-world\"\u003ERed Star Over the Third World\u003C\/a\u003E(LeftWord, 2017) and the Chief Editor of \u003Ca href=\"http:\/\/leftword.com\"\u003ELeftWord Books\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003E\u003Cb\u003EAlejandro Bejarano\u003C\/b\u003E is a Bolivian musician, documentarian, and social media manager. In 2016, he received the Medal of Honor for Cultural Merit of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia.\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ci\u003EFeatured image is from Twitter\u003C\/i\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003EThe original source of this article is \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/socialistproject.ca\/2020\/07\/elon-musk-overthrow-of-democracy-in-bolivia\/#more\"\u003EThe Bullet\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003ECopyright \u00a9 \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.globalresearch.ca\/author\/vijay-prashad\"\u003EProf. Vijay Prashad\u003C\/a\u003E and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.globalresearch.ca\/author\/alejandro-bejarano\"\u003EAlejandro Bejarano\u003C\/a\u003E, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/socialistproject.ca\/2020\/07\/elon-musk-overthrow-of-democracy-in-bolivia\/#more\"\u003EThe Bullet\u003C\/a\u003E, 2020\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.globalresearch.ca\/elon-musk-overthrow-democracy-bolivia\/5719934\"\u003Eglobalresearch.ca\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}}