BUENOS AIRES – Former Bolivia president Evo Morales instructed AFP on Tuesday that he was compelled from workplace by a United States-backed coup d’etat aimed toward getting access to the South American nation’s huge lithium sources.
Demand for lithium is anticipated to develop globally because it is without doubt one of the key elements in batteries utilized in high-tech tools equivalent to laptops and electrical automobiles.
Morales resigned as president on November 10 after nearly three weeks of protests in opposition to his controversial re-election to an unconstitutional fourth time period in a ballot extensively denounced as rigged.
His resignation got here after then-chief of the armed forces Normal Williams Kaliman publicly said the previous commerce union chief ought to step down.
However since then, Morales — Bolivia’s first indigenous president — has claimed to have been the sufferer of a coup d’etat.
“It was a nationwide and worldwide coup d’etat,” Morales instructed AFP in an unique interview in Buenos Aires, the place he has been residing in exile after claiming asylum.
“Industrialized nations don’t desire competitors.”
Morales stated Washington had not “forgiven” his nation for selecting to hunt lithium extraction partnerships with Russia and China moderately than the US.
“That is why I am completely satisfied it is a coup in opposition to lithium,” he stated.
“We as a state had begun industrializing lithium… As a small nation of 10 million inhabitants, we had been quickly going to set the value of lithium.
“They know we have now the best lithium reserves on the earth of 16,000 sq. kilometers (over 6,100 sq. miles).”
Bolivia does have the most important confirmed lithium sources on the earth, however they’re extensively regarded as of poor high quality, and the nation lacks the infrastructure to use them profitably.
– Coup ‘ready prematurely’ –
As for his unconstitutional candidacy within the final election — Bolivian presidents are restricted to 2 successive phrases however Morales was going for a fourth — the socialist chief was unapologetic.
“We received within the first spherical,” he stated, regardless of the audit by the Group of American States (OAS) that discovered clear proof of vote rigging.
“So our participation was by no means a failure. However the coup d’etat was ready prematurely.”
Morales has been barred by right-wing interim President Jeanine Anez from standing in re-scheduled elections as a result of happen early subsequent yr, however for which no date has but been set.
Having initially accepted asylum in Mexico when he first left Bolivia claiming his life was in peril, Morales has primarily based himself in neighboring Argentina since December 10.
His Motion for Socialism (MAS) celebration has even named him marketing campaign chief for the upcoming ballot.
Morales stated a brand new MAS candidate might be picked throughout a celebration meeting on January 15, which could possibly be held in both Bolivia or Argentina.
Bolivia’s authorities has issued an arrest warrant for Morales ought to he attempt to return to his homeland.
Whoever the candidate is, Morales says he desires the subsequent election to be monitored by international organizations.
“There must be a world mission, worldwide organizations just like the Carter Middle, a committee of Nobel Peace Prize winners, Pope Francis, the United Nations, or some well-known world” group, stated Morales.
“Regardless of a lot defamation and persecution and nonetheless with no candidate, we’re nonetheless first in right-wing polls, which is shocking.
“If MAS wins the election, the outcomes must be revered. We’ll respect them.”
Morales was doubtless referring to a latest ballot in Pagina Siete newspaper — a publication in opposition to which he ordered a prison investigation in 2012, having accused it of being an instrument of Chile’s far proper.
In that ballot, Andronico Rodriguez, the 30-year-old coca growers union chief extensively anticipated to be the MAS presidential candidate, got here prime with 23 p.c forward of former president Carlos Mesa at 21.
Mesa was the candidate overwhelmed into second place by Morales in October’s election.
– ‘Chargeable for massacres’ –
One group Morales did not embrace in his commentary want listing was the OAS, whose normal secretary Luis Almagro accused the socialist chief of being the orchestrator of a coup by standing within the final election regardless of being constitutionally barred from doing so.
Dozens of individuals had been killed in clashes after the OAS audit’s findings had been revealed.
“Luis Almagro deserves to be placed on trial for being accountable for so many massacres and deaths in Bolivia,” stated Morales.
Almagro has stated Morales pleaded with him to not publish the audit’s outcomes as he feared it could result in civil unrest.