The Lithium War

I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales. The U.S. must call for an end to violence and support Bolivia’s democratic institutions – Bernie Sanders

I agree totally, except that where Bernie says ‘appears to be a coup,’ he is being diplomatic. The Bolivian military forced Morales – the legally elected, left leaning president of Bolivia – to step down. That’s beyond ‘appears to be a coup.’ That’s a coup.
It’s depressing. It seems to be a done deal and there’s little anyone can do about it, although they say there will be another election. If it’s a fair one, it’s quite likely that Morales, or someone very like him, would win again, but the chances of it being fair are slight, if it even happens.
The reason for the coup, it seems, is lithium. Lithium ion batteries are used in mobile phones, and electric cars, and lithium is also used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. It’s fairly rare, and therefore expensive, and apparently Bolivia has a lot of it. Morales wanted to nationalize the industry, just like Mohammed Mosadegh wanted to nationalize the Iranian oil industry in 1953. The CIA sponsored coup against him then has led to all of the problems between the U.S. and Iran to this day.
Nationalization means that foreign corporations won’t get any of that money, and they aren’t standing still for that.
One person commenting on Facebook said “Are we actually going to have to kill all the rich people before we get justice in this world?” Unfortunately, it’s sure looking that way.

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