On July 24, South African multi-billionaire Elon Musk, who lives in the United States, took to Twitter to criticize the continuation of the US government’s financial and social measures to cushion the Covid-19 crisis as “not in the best interests of the people.” To which one of his followers replied, “Do you know what is not in the best interests of the people? That the US government is organizing a Coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia so that you can get access to Lithium there.”
Known for flamboyant, cheeky and often arrogant phrases in public, Musk tweeted back, “we coup against anyone we can think of whenever we want – get away with it.” In a few minutes, the Tweet went viral around the planet. But when this also made headlines in the dominant international media, Musk deleted the Tweet, which had been copied from the screen several times.
Conservative media, most notably Musk’s house advertising post Electrek, hastened to minimize the Tweet and dismiss the outrage as a “crazy conspiracy theory.” But some, like Argentine commentator Juan Manuel Karg, said to themselves that if this is sarcasm, Elon Musk has a dubious sense of Humor. However, if this is to signal a political Position, Elon Musk has actually awakened as a Putschist.
In any case, Musk’s arrogant new-rich attitude measured itself in the undertone of the sarcastic-seeming tweet with the “lax” $ 40.9 billion of Bolivian gross domestic product (GDP), which Musk’s almost obscene $ 69.4 billion of private wealth juxtaposes. And what Añez’s excuse is Musk’s provocation: the order to stay at home to avoid Covid-19 contagion is “fascist,” the tens of times billionaire trumpeted during the call to a profit-sharing meeting of his electric car company Tesla. Musk criticized the U.S. government’s Covid-19 government stimulus, but was so inconsistent and even used a tens of millions of dollars in pandemic”bridging aid.”
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take down the sky
Elon Musk is at the top of five Mega technology companies. He co-founded the electric car company Tesla, then founded SpaceX – the NASA - associated Aerospace Systems and space transportation services company – created the artificial intelligence research groups OpenAI and Neuralink, and runs SolarCity, the solar energy billionaire’s company. These companies, especially SpaceX, earned $ 4 billion in the past four months alone during the Covid-19 pandemic; in the case of SpaceX, mainly because of the quarantine-related increased use of the internet.
Here, too, the big-mouthed billionaire is increasingly caught in the crossfire of criticism. Musk now serves the network with 540 satellites, which, positioned in the sky with striking choreographies, are often visible with the naked eye. But they destroy the night sky, astronomers warn of the marketing of Earth’s orbit. For his part, the Amazon billionaire and richest man on the planet, Jeff Bezos, plans to launch around 3,000 satellites into orbit for the same purpose. For the commercial exploitation of heaven, the Turbo billionaires just need the permission of the US communications agency-and what does it matter to humanity, who owns heaven!
But Musk’s megalomania targets a squadron of 12,000 of the 260-kilogram devices for high-quality Internet. “The effects on astronomy are practically the beginning of the end of the night,” warns Didier Queloz, the Nobel laureate in physics. For him, Musk and Bezos are people who will colonize heaven and abolish it for humanity.
Associations with Musk’s Bolivia interest and coup involvement
Musk’s involvement in the coup of last November 2019 is a conjecture with multiple contours. His Tweet coincides with the second postponement of the presidential elections in Bolivia until next October. Allegedly because of the Corona-crisis. But it can be assumed that the unconstitutional de facto president and candidate Jeanine añez is the worst in the polls. The latest polling by the Latin American Center for geopolitical studies confirms Evo Morales' longtime economy minister and party candidate Luis Arce’s 41.9 percent voter preference and a more than 10 percent lead over all conservative rivals; a lead denied by Bolivia’s extreme right and ridiculed as “machinations” by former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa.
To substantiate the thesis of Musk’s involvement in the coup, some critics cite two further references. On the one hand, last March 31, Añez’s Secretary of State, Karen Longaric, sent a petition to Musk asking him to donate the ventilators he had offered worldwide weeks earlier, allegedly made by his electric car company Tesla, to seriously ill Covid-19 patients. But this is how the offer ended: Musk did not manufacture any devices, but rather bought about 100 devices of Chinese manufacture and sent them to hospitals in the USA and Spain. Bolivia got no. Añez, the De facto head of state, decided to buy 170 Respira devices, but the outrageous overpriced devices exposed a corruption scandal that landed Añez Minister of Health in prison.
The warning from the Empire and Elon Musk’s visit to Chile
On the other hand, Musk’s unbridled drive to maximize profits at the price of radical spending could speak for his supposedly discreet support of the coup against President Evo Morales. This has motivated Musk to explore Lithium deposits in South America over the past two years. Here he consulted with government representatives and his emissaries visited the Lithium triangle Argentina-Chile-Bolivia, which forms the largest natural Reserve of the strategic raw material with at least 50 percent of the world’s deposits.
Welcome @elonmusk to Chile, the Saudi Arabia of lithium, a potential “solar country” and a leader of world economic freedom. Looking forward to travel SCL-LAX in 30 minutes in SpaceX. https://t.co/revwjfwWVw— José Piñera🗽 (@josepinera_en) December 28, 2017
José Piñera – notorious Chicago Boy, brother of acting Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and General Augusto Pinochet’s chief ideologist for the privatization of the country’s pension system-tweeted euphorically and doggedly three years ago, “welcome @elonmusk to Chile, the Saudi Arabia of lithium, a potential “solar country” and a leader of the free world economy. I look forward to traveling SCL-LAX in SpaceX in 30 minutes.”. The ultraconservative MP José Miguel Castro relented with another Tweet of voluntary submission. He wrote, “dear Mr. Musk, if you are in Chile, I would like to invite you to visit the Region, we have the largest lithium resources in the world. We are hard-working people and understand the importance of the value chain.
@elonmusk Dear Mr Musk, If you are in Chile, I would like to invite to visit out region, where we have the biggest lithium resources in the world. We are hard working people and we truly understand the importance of the value chain.— Diputado José Miguel Castro (@dip_jmcastro) December 29, 2017
José Miguel Castro
The British headhunter agency Hyperion Executive Search bluntly indicated where the rabbit lay in the pepper. “Elon Musk is in Chile, to develop a solution to this growing Problem. The search for Lithium is really in full swing and there is a high risk that some selected (mineral-rich) countries will control most of the ingredients for electric car batteries,” said the CEO’s paper, referring to national sovereign resource reserves as a “risk.” A presumption with crystal clear calculation: “theoretically, however, a massive lithium carbonate mining and cleaning factory is possible. Companies could then attempt to deliver high-purity lithium carbonate to Giga factories around the world. Therefore, I believe that Musk is in Chile to evaluate and hopefully negotiate long-term partnerships with local Lithium mining professionals to create an efficient Lithium supply chain to lay the foundations for a mass market electric vehicle future.”
The South American Lithium Triangle
Four months before the coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia, the American consulting firm Allied Market Research estimated that the world market for lithium batteries could reach a value of 46 billion US dollars in 2022. Part of the euphoria, according to the British BBC, had to do with Elon Musk’s announcement in June 2019 that he wanted to expand the production of Tesla electric cars. “In order to produce 500,000 vehicles per year, we basically need to absorb all of the world’s lithium production,” Musk said in Interviews.
In Argentina and Chile, several private companies are already promoting the metal. The decision of the government of Evo Morales in Bolivia was different. Rather, the South American nations should focus on adding value to the Lithium raw material by producing batteries, rather than selling the metal as a cheap commodity, according to Bolivia’s deposed, Plurinational head of State. As a result of this understanding of national raw material sovereignty and technological autonomy, the contract for lithium enrichment and the construction of the first industrial Lithium battery factory on Latin American soil was negotiated at the end of 2018 between the state-owned Bolivian YLB and the German company ACI Systems Alemania with 51 to 49 percent shares. However, under massive political pressure from Morales, the contract was surprisingly terminated in October 2019 and is the subject of the review page follow-up report on the Lithium Puzzle.
Chile, on the other hand, represents around 33 percent of the world’s Lithium mining industry, which is dominated as a monopoly by the privatised state-owned metal mining company SQM in the former Bolivian territory, which was usurped by the Andean country during the war of the Pacific (1879-1883). In Argentina, neoliberal president Mauricio Macri, elected in 2015, took over the Chilean “business model” and opened up access to Lithium deposits in the north-west of the country to foreign investors in particular.
Argentina, Bolivia and Chile have been targeted for years by transnational mining companies with significant participation from Mega asset managers such as BlackRock. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has calculated that the lithium reserves of the three countries account for about 60 percent of the known world reserves, other sources cite more modest deposits between 40 and 50 percent of the world reserves. Which has also inspired international trade media to use art-rich terms such as the “Golden Triangle” or “Saudi Arabia of lithium”.
Musk’s failed negotiations with Chile’S SQM, owned by General Pinochet’s son-in-law
Excluding China, Evo Morales ' Lithium value creation strategy does not benefit the electric car giant or international finance capital. “The headwind is stronger than the tailwind,” protested Sam Jaffe, CEO of Cairn Energy Research Advisors, a US-based energy storage consultancy, in an interview with BBC World. “The idea that South American countries will be exporters of batteries for electric cars makes little sense.“Because they are far from the major automotive manufacturing centers, the cost of transporting batteries is very high. “Owning Lithium does not bring you any logistical advantage. Probably the best option is to export the raw material,” is the US CEO’s classic colonialist formula. This formula includes the lowest prices, one of Elon Musk’s specialties.
“Tesla’s appetite for raw materials has raised expectations of a possible agreement between the US giant and Chile, the world’s largest lithium producer, Beyond an agreement with SQM,” Piñera government officials raved about the arrival of the Tesla CEO in Chile at the end of 2018. SQM is the acronym for the company Soquimich, and years ago received the near monopoly-like concession for the Lithium yield in the Atacama, which the ex-son-in-law Pinochet, who has been repeatedly convicted of serious corruption, Julio Ponce Lerou, shares with corporations from China, the United States, Canada and South Korea. But Elon Musk’s Chile Mission did not end well.
At the beginning of 2019, Eduardo Bitran, former Vice-CEO of Corfo, the state-owned Industrial Promotion Association, met with Musk and his accompanying shock squad of Tesla Lithium and battery experts. But Bitran was not exactly pleased with the negotiations with the Tesla billionaire. Corfo advisor Leonardo Valenzuela also bluntly pointed out after a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies ' economic committee that no progress had been made in the talks and criticised the US delegation. “Tesla wants lithium hydroxide for an Apple and an egg!“The market price for a ton of it is $ 16,000 and Tesla doesn’t want to spend more than half of it, just $ 8,000. As a result, very little progress has been made in this area,” said the Chilean Musk’s Mission.
Tesla’s Lithium demand and the raid on global raw material reserves
Tesla was founded in 2003, shortly after General Motors abandoned and destroyed the prototypes of its EV-1 electric vehicle. Elon Musk joined the company in 2004 and is considered its first major investor. In 2006, the Tesla Roadster model was the first production car to leave Tesla assembly with a gradually devised business and financing strategy.
Powered by Lithium-ion batteries, it was equipped for a range of over 322 km per charge and accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 3.9 seconds. At the time, Tesla boasted that the Roadster was twice as efficient as the Japanese competitor Toyota Prius. Apart from a lack of logistics, it was already evident in 2009 that with an prohibitive final price of 109,000 US dollars (almost 93,000 euros according to today’s conversion value) the Tesla electric car was an Elite carriage. After the December 2006 issue of Time magazine gave the Tesla Roadster a cover with the “Best Transportation Invention Award”, Tesla succeeded until mid-2012 in selling the Roadster model in 31 countries, which according to the company had covered 37 million electric kilometers.
Since then, the assembly plant has expanded into a transnational provider of at least half a dozen follow-up models with hundreds of millions of repaid government loans and billions of dollars in reinvestments. In 2018, Tesla sold 245,240 vehicles, including 145,846 models 3, of the medium-sized, four-door sedan launched in 2017. The current production capacity is 350,000 vehicles / year.
The latest Tesla business hit is the 2020 version of the old, discontinued Roadster. A four-seater supercar for the world’s elite, equipped with a 200 kWh battery and autonomy of 1,000 km, acceleration capacity of 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds and top speed of 400 km/h.purchase price: $ 200,000.
On YouTube, the platform Crux Investor made available a Video in which Howard Klein of RK Equity comments from the perspective of Elon Musk on the subject of Tesla, Gigafactory and Lithium as well as on the race to secure the raw material supply chain. The implied scenario does not suggest anything good in the perception of normal mortals, the majority of human beings, except for the world elite possessed at 400 kilometers per hour behind the wheel of Musk’s downright electro-projectiles. At the opening of the Nevada Gigafactory, Tesla is reported by Klein to have announced an annual production target of 35 GWh, which requires 25,000 tons of Lithium per year – a sign with the fence post that Tesla as a car manufacturer could soon enter Lithium mining itself. To the damnation of all concerned.