One tweet and all hell broke loose.
Tesla has to be the most controversial car manufacturer of the past few decades: its leader, the enigmatic Elon Musk continues to baffle the automotive world with innovations (Tesla now accepts bitcoin), and stories that are sometimes too good to be true. While the California-based company readies itself to launch some much-anticipated models such as the Cybertruck, a new scandal has reared its head, and this time it comes from the small South American nation of Bolivia. The president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, is accusing Elon Musk and Tesla of having a hand in the country's 2019 coup. Reality is stranger than fiction as they say.
According to El Sol de Mexico, the reason for the 2019 coup was purely for financial gain, and that then-president Evo Morales was binned due to international corporate desires for Bolivia's vast reserves of lithium. Despite recent advancements in EV battery technology, lithium remains a key ingredient in most modern EV offerings. According to Arce, certain tweets made by Musk could have been the spark that lit the flame: "There were statements by vice-presidential candidate Samuel Doria Medina who mentioned it would be very interesting if Tesla could come to Bolivia to industrialize lithium. A few weeks later, a statement by a senior Tesla manager was known on social networks saying that they are going to carry out a coup where necessary," he said.
Arce is referring to a tweet made by Musk stating that "We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it!" when questioned about a statement he made regarding Bolivian finances at the time. Musk later removed the tweet. Moralzez had nationalized the country's lithium mines and had made a deal with a German company to produce batteries, but the coup put an end to those dealings. It is unknown where Tesla is planning its next coup, but where there is lithium, countries are advised to raise their threat level to orange.