“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 run by lithium battery cells; second, Evo Morales, known for defending Bolivian sovereignty over natural resources, said in an interview to a Brazilian outlet in April that “the coup was against the indigenous and [it was] for lithium.” And suggesting that a coup in Latin America included U.S. involvement is not a stretch by any means.