Latin America

Is Elon Musk coveting Bolivia’s lithium resources? Not really …

Conspiracy theories and an incendiary social media response from the Tesla CEO sparked claims the company meddled in last year's coup of Evo Morales. Experts disagree

inflation Is Elon Musk coveting Bolivia's lithium resources? Not really …
Photo: Dennizn/Shutterstock

“We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” This was the Twitter response of Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle giant Tesla, when questioned about the alleged U.S. interference in the military coup of Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2019. The accusation — hardly debunked by Mr. Musk’s reaction — was that Tesla waded into the internal affairs of the Andean nation to gain access to Bolivia’s lithium resources — the world’s largest, reportedly making up between 50 and 70 percent of the world’s deposits. 

The conspiracy theory is not terribly complex. First, Tesla’s electric cars are...

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