Venezuela and Bolivia: do they make a clue, or already a pattern?
May what Bolivia and Venezuela have in common be… high-tech?
Lithium is a strategic metal. It is strategic because it is essential to make efficient batteries for smartphone, electric cars and everything in between. I have just found this article arguing that a central motivation of the coup against Evo Morales is the fact that Bolivia is the only South American state to have already started a lithium processing project “100% state-owned”.
The immediate effect of that article was to remind me of another article, about Coltan. Coltan is a strategic mineral. It is strategic because is necessary to make essential components “used in almost every kind of electronic device”.
In February 2019, I read that, in October 2018, Nicolas Maduro inaugurated in Venezuela the largest coltan extraction plant in South America. That plant would “produce $ 7.8 million a day of revenue for the benefit of the nation, re-launching the importance of the Bolivarian country on the global energy chessboard”, said Nicolas Maduro. Yes, the same Maduro who is now under siege.
Agatha Christie wrote (maybe) that “One coincidence is just a coincidence, two coincidences are a clue, three coincidences are a proof”, or a pattern, as others say. Pope Pius XI (not Giulio Andreotti) once said “To think evil of others is a sin, but often it is correct”.
I don’t know enough to be sure. I’m not even defending, or attacking, Maduro, Morales or anybody else. Then again, as I also discovered today, it’s not me who said that “lithium, cobalt may be next in strategic metals struggle between US, China”. Nor am I the one who, apparently three years ago, argued that Bolivia had a growing bullseye on its back, also because of lithium.