Friday, November 15, 2019

What's Happening In Bolivia

Okay so, you might have heard that some shit is going down in Bolivia. Now, the headline might be a bit misleading. I can't claim to know what's happening as I don't live there, nor was I paying attention before the recent election went haywire.

This is what I know. Protests broke out during the recent Bolivian presidential election because some claimed that the early results pointed to fraud. After things got violence, some people said that sitting President Evo Morales voluntarily resigned and others said he was forced out due to a coup. Either way, he's out.

A lot of leftists from the global North are calling this a coup. I've seen some claiming to be from Bolivia saying that this is a lie and that nobody in Bolivia liked Morales and that he was abusing his power to eliminate term limits.

As a U.S.-based white person, I don't want to speak over actual Bolivians and declare what is true. But there is something that we need to pay attention to. The Bolivia salt flats contain a huge amount of lithium, which is an essential ingredient in electric car batteries, smartphones, and laptops. I've seen people warn before that there will be a battle for resources essential to renewable energy sources as the effects of climate change accelerate.

It does not seem like a coincidence that Morales had very recently nationalized the nation's lithium industry. Also, we can't ignore the fact that there are a large number of brand new Twitter accounts claiming to be made by Bolivians churning out identical anti-Morales messages in what is clearly a bot swarm.
Whether this was a coup or not, I have little doubt that the U.S. and the CIA had some hand in what went down. At the very least, I would bet the entirety of my sweet ass that the U.S. and other wealthy nations will turn their sights onto Bolivia and try to take advantage of the chaos to seize their natural resources. This will absolutely be at the expense of the Bolivian people.

The demand for the materials necessary to make laptop and smartphone batteries has already created child slavery in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and we were largely ignorant/silent about it. It doesn't have to be like that this time around. At the very least, we need to demand that the natural resources of Bolivia stay in Bolivian hands and condemn attempts by wealthy nations to steal it. Don't let your country create child slavery in Bolivia, too.

We need to confront the capitalistic imperialism that devastates vulnerable nations full of people of color. It's not worth saving the species from climate change if the result is enslaved children.

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