25 Dec 2019 – Aljazeera
Former Bolivia president Evo Morales has claimed he was forced from office by a US-backed coup aimed at gaining access to the South American country’s vast lithium resources.
The remarks came in an exclusive interview with AFP news agency on Tuesday, weeks after Morales resigned as president on November 10.
Since then, Morales – Bolivia’s first Indigenous president – has claimed to have been the victim of a coup d’etat.
“It was a national and international coup d’etat,” Morales told AFP in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, where he has been living in exile since claiming asylum. “Industrialized countries don’t want competition.”Morales said Washington had not “forgiven” his country for choosing to seek lithium extraction partnerships with Russia and China rather than the US.
“That’s why I’m absolutely convinced it’s a coup against lithium,” he said.
“We as a state had begun industrializing lithium … As a small country of 10 million inhabitants, we were soon going to set the price of lithium.”
“They know we have the greatest lithium reserves in the world.