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Report: Evo Morales claims US backed coup to access Bolivia's lithium

Former Bolivia President Evo Morales said in an interview that he was forced to resign from office through a coup backed by the U.S., which wanted access to the country's lithium resources, AFP reported Dec. 24.

Morales resigned in November after weeks of violence in the South American nation spurred by irregularities with his October election.

The ex-president claimed that the U.S. orchestrated the coup after Bolivia, which has 16,000 square kilometers of lithium reserves, decided to look for lithium extraction partnerships with Russia and China instead of the U.S.

"Industrialized countries don't want competition," Morales said. "That's why I'm absolutely convinced it's a coup against lithium."