In Bolivia democracy won and imperialism lost

In Bolivia democracy won and imperialism lost
Luis Arce, centre, celebrates with his running mate, David Choquehuanca, right, on Monday. Photograph by Ronaldo Schemidt

In Bolivia, the political party MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo) of former President Evo Morales claimed victory in Sunday’s presidential election.

According to exit polls MAS candidate Luis Arce has won over 50 % of the vote, giving him an outright win. If confirmed, it will put the socialist party MAS back in power and end the far-right government which ousted Evo Morales in November 2019.

Bolivia’s coup government is currently led by the religious fanatic Jeanine Áñez, who already recognized defeat in this general election.

 

But what does this have to do with electric cars?

 

 

The main purpose of last year US-backed coup in Bolivia was to secure strategic cheap access to lithium for US companies, namely Tesla. Elon Musk even joked about it…

Billionaires do live in a bubble. This coup was responsible for the death of many peaceful indigenous people in Bolivia. What adult in their right mind thinks that imperialism is acceptable?

 

Elon Musk showing support for imperialism in a single tweet
Elon Musk showing support for imperialism in a single tweet

 

While some people think that we should avoid talking about politics in EV related websites, I don’t agree, when we leave politics to the elites, they only look for their own interests.

We need more people participating in democracy, not less. Moreover, the main reason why I created this blog was political.

My interest in electric cars didn’t start because they have fast acceleration, are cheap to run, silent or just cool… It started because I was tired of coups and wars for oil. I thought that the adoption of electric vehicles would help democracies all over the world.

Let’s keep ourselves informed and active to prevent that coups and wars for lithium become usual.

 

The short video below from Mike Figueredo explains extremely well what we’re facing.

 

 

Democracies are fragile and every time they prevail it must be celebrated.

 

 

 

More info:

https://www.democracynow.org/2020/10/20/bolivia_2020_election_luis_arce

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/20/elon-musk-becomes-twitter-laughingstock-after-bolivian-socialist-movement-returns-to-power/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/19/bolivia-election-exit-polls-suggest-thumping-win-evo-morales-party-luis-arce

https://theintercept.com/2020/06/08/the-nyt-admits-key-falsehoods-that-drove-last-years-coup-in-bolivia-falsehoods-peddled-by-the-u-s-its-media-and-the-nyt/

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.
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Ricardo
Ricardo
1 month ago

He really wrote that? WOW

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Ricardo

Yes, he then deleted the tweet. For his defense, I think that he might be bipolar because he already said that he’s a socialist. But he doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1008013111058526209

Ricardo
Ricardo
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Pedro, come on. He’s a billionaire. Stop making excuses for him. He’s not human, like us. He’s not bipolar. He may suffer from cognitive dissonance though. Sometimes he feels a physical pain and he goes: Wait, what? But, I’m a God, how can this be? What is this feeling I feel? I pity the poor sods who actually take all the kool-aid they can get. Lucky for you guys, he’s not in the suicide business.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Ricardo

You’re right Ricardo. I’ll stop doing that.

Miguel Ramos
Miguel Ramos
1 month ago
Reply to  Ricardo

Wow, indeed. There are always people who think they are the ones who know best what’s the interest of the people. It’s just not democracy.

Famlin
Famlin
1 month ago

Seems Tesla has no relationship with Bolivia Lithium. As usual the Big Oil (Python) + OPEC (Anaconda) would have orchestrated this conspiracy theory.

https://electrek.co/2020/07/26/tesla-elon-musk-accused-bolivia-coup-lithium-conspiracy-theory/

Ricardo
Ricardo
1 month ago
Reply to  Famlin

Well, I was beginning to wonder when you’d show up. Hey, at least, this time, you’re on topic. No Tesla worshipping in an article about a completely different and unrelated topic, namely, the cheapest car in Europe. Yeah, I saw you there

“Great price, will they produce at the max level or its just to earn credits / avoid fines.
14 KWh/100 km translates to 7.14 km / KWh. Tesla Model 3 has 6.66 km / KWh.
Now Model 3 mileage increased by 5.2% which should put it to 7.01 km / KWh.
Model 3 is much bigger, faster, has longer range and comes in luxury category.
So the 7.1 km / KWh rating is not very efficient for Dacia Spring with a smaller battery that weighs lesser.
Making efficient motors is not that easy, hope they learn soon.”

Thanks for at least mentioning Dacia.

Famlin
Famlin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ricardo

Hi Ricardo: I like you man. Thanks for taking note of.
Many EV supporters like me anxiously hoped that EV sales will increase with the 1. launch of every new EV
2. with range increase
3. with price decrease
Unfortunately, many ended like a Mirage (optical illusion caused by atmospheric conditions, especially the appearance of a sheet of water in a desert). 

But Tesla made us all happy by selling 1.1 million + vehicles. Thats why I compared Dacia to Model 3. I support all BEVs, plugins, hybrids and even bi-fuel, flex-fuel vehicles that can run on natgas, bio-fuels. 
I drive a Nissan Leaf, but what happened to that car after Carlos Ghosn was arrested. 

Please see my response to Pedro Lima.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Famlin

Famlin so why do you think that the US sponsored this coup?

“The indigenous-socialist project accomplished what neoliberalism has repeatedly failed to do: redistribute wealth to society’s poorest sectors and uplift those most marginalized. Under Evo and MAS leadership, Bolivia liberated itself as a resource colony. Before the coup, Evo attempted to nationalize its large lithium reserves, an element necessary for electric cars. Since the coup, Tesla’s stocks have skyrocketed. Bolivia rebuked imperialist states like the United States and Canada by taking the path of resource nationalism to redistribute profits across society.

This was Evo’s crime.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/14/what-the-coup-against-evo-morales-means-to-indigenous-people-like-me

Famlin
Famlin
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

: With all due respect.
You know that Oil companies want US and the World being addicted to oil and they dragged USA to war in Iraq which killed more than 500.000 people.

At least automakers could have sold bi-fuel and flex fuel vehicles running on natgas and biofuels even if they want to sell their ICE vehicles, but they did not since automakers were controlled by oil companies.

Fearing BEVs rise, the media blasts Tesla day-in and day-out.
Do you think that a single Tesla with $25 billion revenue be able to match the might of oil companies with $300 billion in revenue. Find out how many haters of Tesla are in US admin (both democrats & republicans). 

Do you think VW, PSA, GM will sell BEVs without competition from Tesla. Even BYD BAIC has petrol/diesel in addition to BEVs.

Besides Lithium is 3rd most abundant metal in this planet earth and there is no need to depend on 1 country. But we all know that 67% (2/3) of the worlds light + medium crude is in West Asia. The oil in Canada, Venezuela, USA are dirty sands oil which has low input : output ratio.
Saudi Arabia: 25%
Iran: 10%
Iraq: 10%
Kuwait: 10%
UAE + Oman + Bahrain: 12%

Finally, USA will do a coup attempt wherever there is a socialist government.

Once again, I really appreciate all your articles related to battery. Keep it up. 

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Famlin

Hi Famlin.

Electrek’s article you mention failed to understand a simple fact.

Like oil, lithium extraction costs vary a lot.

Drilling oil in the Middle East or Venezuela is a lot cheaper than processing it from tar sands in Canada. That’s why those regions are so important for oil cartels.

The same applies to lithium. There are cheap lithium sources and there are expensive lithium sources. It’s not all the same as Electrek tries to make us believe, just to defend Tesla…

It’s a lot cheaper getting lithium from Bolivia where it’s available at surface, than processing it from lithium clays in Nevada for example…

That’s why Bolivia’s lithium is the most wanted in the world.
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Famlin
Famlin
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Hi Pedro

1st of all my appreciation to Bolivians for conducting elections and electing a socialist party which is good for all people.

Back to subject, its highly possible that oil companies who took over many natural gas companies to ensure that natgas competes only against coal (power/heat) and does not compete with oil (transport) could have orchestrated a coup in Bolivia to ensure that neither Tesla nor any other BEV automaker gets that sweet lithium.

Here are their revenues in 2019

US oil companies
Exxon – $ 256 billion
Chevron – $ 140 billion
Conoco – $ 37 billion

European oil companies
Shell – $ 345 billion
BP – $ 278 billion
Total – $ 176 billion

Hope you know that it was BP which pushed British government which in turn prompted US government to overthrow democratically elected government in Iran in 1950s.
Had democratic Iran succeeded, the whole West Asia could have followed and become democratic. And we would not have had 9/11 in the 1st place. Anyway …

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Famlin

Yes Famlin, I know that oil cartels were responsible for a lot of coups in the last century. What happen in Iran was an utter disgrace.

But we all should be very alert to prevent that the same thing doesn’t happen with lithium or any other resource.

Because of global warming and pollution, water might be the next resource humans will fight for.

Marcel
Marcel
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Yes, many Canadians are keenly aware of this idea, since we have so much of the world’s fresh water, and we are next door to the US, where they are rapidly drying out, and there are many US corporations keen to get their hands on our water.

I sincerely hope that water efficiency technologies take off. Such as urban farming, high tech applications to increase water efficiency on regular farming, techniques to keep the soil from drying out, etc.

I’ve heard that in India and Bali they’re trying technology to pump water back into the ground during the rainy season, so they don’t run out during the dry season.

This is another big reason for the world to quit coal power, since it uses so much water. And another reason why building new nuclear plants isn’t a great idea.

sir_pece
sir_pece
1 month ago

Amen! Just let us know, Pedro, when you will go into politics, you have my vote.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  sir_pece

🙂

Marcel
Marcel
1 month ago

Good piece Pedro. I appreciate that Musk took some big personal risks to get Tesla up and running because he believes in a clean energy future, but he’s still a Silicon Valley tech-bro, and his views are mostly not great.

I’m also glad to hear that the socialist party won in Bolivia, and I hope that the socialist government is competent and good for Bolivians (not foreign corporations) and that they withstand any foreign attempts to overthrow them again.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcel

Thanks Marcel.

The good news is that’s becoming harder for the US to overthrow democratically elected governments. However, democracies are very fragile and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Marcel
Marcel
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Yes, agreed, they are fragile. I always feel lucky about being born in Canada at this point in history.

Benedetto
Benedetto
1 month ago

I can’t keep quiet while reading such bullshit, sorry, I liked this blog, and I will continue to do so, you may be a EV guru, you are, but politics?

Pure bullshit. I am sorry to have to say that.

Latin socialism is the worst thing of this world, even China one party looks more appealing (giving what I think about Chinese despotic democracy it’s something!).

Venezuela, Bolivia.

The only serious social-ish way is the Scandinavian social-democracy.

Free market with big benefits for unemployed and poor people.

Latin socialism is a huge disaster and populism pretending to nationalise…EVERYTHING.

rather old style shitty communism.

I’m a big fan of social democracy and a big generous welfare state, but within moderate capitalism, free market and competition.

I can’t believe what I just read.

Unbelievable that there are adults from the first world supporting that shit.

Unbelievable.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

Benedetto, it’s not up to you or me to decide Bolivia’s government. Bolivians voted for that government and can vote them out if they do a poor job. That’s how democracies work…

I’m not a guru of anything, especially electric cars, my academic background is Sociology…

To me Socialism just means democracy at the work place, where workers own the means of production and the product of their labor. It doesn’t mean that the State controls everything. You can have markets with worker-owned companies…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_socialism

Why would you think that markets can only operate with hierarchical-companies?

In my view, companies should be horizontal, controlled and owned by their workers, the State should only control strategic companies.
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Even Ronald Reagan agreed with employee ownership… that evil commie!

There are a lot of misconceptions of the word Socialism.

Anyway, what I think doesn’t matter. Bolivians have the right to choose their own destiny.

yoyo
yoyo
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

If Latin socialism fails or servers them un well that is on them…
People living outside of Bolivia do not have the right to tell them what government to chose…
We are neither their master nor their God…
And giving away your natural resources for chump change to foreign entities will generally keep you poor too…
This world could certainly use some of Star Treks Prime Directive going way back but especially after WWII when the US decided to become the monster to save us from the monsters…
History says it is also easy for populisme to win in highly educated countries..
What it really takes is unhappy and repressed peoples…

On the bright side BYD is crushing Tesla in barrels of oil offset with electric vehicles…
https://twitter.com/bridgemccarthy_/status/1315749486640222208

That does not even count all of BYD self produced solar panels unlike Tesla’s outsourced to Panosic solar panels…

graycrow
graycrow
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

Indeed unbelievable. I didn’t expected this socialist BS here, right out of Karl Marx book. I someone who was born and grew up in the Soviet Union, I experienced all that socialist shit on my own skin, and do not recommend anyone to do the same.

Dude
Dude
1 month ago
Reply to  graycrow

You think if you had born in Pinochet Chile, you enjoyed more the Chicago boys capitalism? Do you think capitalism killed less than socialism?

I traveled around some ex-URSS countries in late 90’s. Soviet system was bad, but the capitalism system wasn’t better. Both are bad, they do not differ too much neither.

You can call investors, lobby’s… or “single party” apparatchiks, they are the same kind of persons doing the same things under different names.

I saw that people that lived under socialist systems hate socialism, and have fantasies about capitalism. And the opposite, people that lived in capitalism hate capitalism and have fantasies about socialism.

By the way, society is a horizontal group, horde is a vertical group. Horizontal groups require good quality human resources. If you had bad human resources they form a vertical group. Is a natural thing that exist since ever, even before market existence.

So to have a society, a horizontal group, is needed much more than XIX century ideologies.

Benedetto
Benedetto
1 month ago

I should let a great friend of mine from Maracaibo living in the Venezuelan hell read this.

Better not, she would get even more depressed.

She lived and still lives the horrors and disasters of latin socialism-populism on her skin.

I don’t want her to cry even more. She already lost all her friends to death and escape.

It is easy for populism to win in places with masses of uneducated ignorant people.

Before distributing wealth a country must become rich. It can’t become rich with all economy nationalized and castrated.

Venezuela is falling into pieces.

Electricity goes down all the time, nationalized, obviously, and falling into pieces.

My eyes still burn from the reading.

Un-be-li-e-ve-ble!

graycrow
graycrow
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

This!

facile
facile
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

The article celebrates democracy.
P. Lima must be against the current Venezuelan regime, it does not qualify as a democracy.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  facile

Correct, I don’t consider the current Venezuelan regime democratic nor I support it.

Benedetto
Benedetto
1 month ago

“Imperialism” or the word preferred by everyone having personal and ideological anger towards USA.

Rather than social populism, I’m very happy that those American “imperialists” (lol) exported free market and economic liberalism to the world.

I’m laughing every time I read “imperialism”

Pure USAphobia

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

Disliking USA’s foreign policy is not USA phobia. There are a lot of things to admire in USA’s culture.

Chris hansen
Chris hansen
1 month ago

Bueno, hora de enviar esta web a la papelera.

Lo de explicar los pucherazos generalizados supongo que ya lo dejas para otro momento.

Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
1 month ago

I’ve written several times on the ongoing imperialism of the US (first time in my book on social theory in 2004), and I fully agree that US imperialism (overt, and more often covert) is rife and a major evil in the world.

Having said that – here’s how I read that Elon Musk Tweet:

  • someone had almost accused him of colluding in a coup (which collusion seemed to me highly unlikely)
  • Musk responded to this (seemingly outlandish) accusation with an equally ridiculous and outlandish answer, which I took as a **clear joke**
  • From the perspective of people who know about the history of US imperialism (and the recent injustices in Bolivia), yes – it was a joke made in bad taste, But most people in the US are ignorant about the history of their own nation, and don’t think Musk is more aware than the average.

=> I don’t see this tweet as evidence that Musk was **actually supportive of US imperialism** in general, nor the Bolivia events specifically

=> Just because “US billionaire supports US imperialism” makes for a compelling leftist narrative, it doesn’t make this narrative around Musk actually true (and BTW I’m a leftist).

Is there any other evidence? I will stand corrected if there’s compelling evidence.

Freddy
Freddy
1 month ago

I tend to agree with this…

Musk is know by his “terrible taste” jokes and memes…

Having said this, whatever the reason was for the Coup, Bolivians just threw a white glove…

Unlike other coups where a coup was really necessary (Portugal 74 for instance), Bolivians really decided that this coup was un-necessary.

I think Venezuela is a very different sotry with very different people in power though…

I’m against both imperialism and populism… they are definetely not good for any societies in my view…

Marcel
Marcel
1 month ago

Good points Max. You’re probably right, it was probably a joke made in bad taste. He keeps making these kinds of statements though, so personally, while I appreciate how much of Musk’s leadership and special talents it took to get Tesla launched and how much Tesla is accelerating clean tech, I’ve stopped giving Musk the benefit of the doubt when it comes to how much of a jerk he is as a person.

Maximilian Holland
Maximilian Holland
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcel

Thanks Marcel.

He certainly frequently lacks social judgement and lets a bad mood get the better of him. Something that most of us suffer from sometimes – but he is in the social eye all the time, so he doesn’t get the pass that ordinary folks get.

I think he wants to do good overall, but he should apply more checks and balances to some of his decisions and some of his off-the-cuff behaviour. Put differently, I don’t think he is actually a jerk, but he does come across as a jerk sometimes, and he needs to get on top of that (otherwise he risks becoming an actual jerk). I am sure he is very difficult to work for.

I accept that perhaps I’m giving him too much benefit-of-the-doubt.

I agree with you that Tesla have done (far) more to advance sustainable transport than any other single entity, and their progress has enabled other to push harder (e.g. European union regulations etc).

That doesn’t mean Elon gets a pass when he acts like a jerk. But like all things, we have to view both the pluses and the minuses. Given the amount of energy he has and the complexity and magnitude of the challenges he takes on, I’m not sure we could realistically expect him to have a saintly mix of character traits.

Freddy
Freddy
1 month ago

There are no perfect persons, but sometimes societies or groups of a society try to idolatrate a person based on just a small part of what this person is… Elon can be a great engineer, visionaire, etc and still be some of a jerk (i remember the pedofile stuff to that UK diver…what a heck was that?!?) We must appreciate the good of the people but know that they also have their “dark side”…

Just my 2 cents…

DonutsMagnum
DonutsMagnum
1 month ago

Here the only one who attempted a coup was Evo Morales, he lost the 2016 constitutional referendum that modified the article limiting presidential terms and then did the whole show with the Constitutional Court to declare that article of the constitution as unconstitutional (yes, no joke) and thus he was able to stand in the 2019 elections.
Then he did with the maximum impudence in those same elections, manipulating the vote count so that there was no second round and that was when the people came out to protest and Evo had to go into exile.

I think Elon Musk’s tweet is mere sarcasm, drawing imperialist conclusions from there seems to me quite conspiratorial, especially considering that now there have been elections without manipulation.

graycrow
graycrow
1 month ago

Warning, this is a rant. What the actual Fuck I just read? I supposed that this blog is written by grown-up adult person without “socialism vs imperialism” cockroaches in the head. In the last 100 years, there is not a single country in the world which become a better place to live after “imperialism” lost there, quite opposite, they all become hell to they own people. I lived in the one of those, do not recommend it to anyone. What a disappointment.

facile
facile
1 month ago

You just blew my mind .

Benedetto
Benedetto
1 month ago

Democracy is not perfect.

Anyone could be elected, even a grandma.

That is the problem, not democracy itself.

Only people with a high degree/education together with experience should be allowed into parliaments and governments.

Engineers, Physicians, Sociologists, Psychologists, Mathematicians and all others useful disciplines.

This would prevent populism, of any kind.

Workers owning the meanings of production? Do you really think people with capitals accumulated those to share the meaning of productions with people without capitals?

Childish naive utopia.

Should rather focus on a better social mobility with bigger welfare and lowering income inequality.

To own meanings of production you have to own a capital.

Nothing comes for free.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

Worker-cooperatives are nothing new.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

Benedetto
Benedetto
1 month ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

They aren’t, but you still need capitals to build a cooperative.

In my country there are bank cooperatives and or GDO cooperatives.

Still, capitals are needed.

Those who don’t have capital must accept subordinate jobs or try to open their own business (still require a certain capital).

Again, nothing is free.

Normal workers don’t own lot of capitals.

You are implying to give to workers shared ownership of businesses for free.

Nonsense.

Pedro Lima
Pedro Lima
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

Nope, I’m not implying that every company needs to be a cooperative, I just think there should be a lot more of those.

In my opinion it’s better to redistribute wealth at its origin with horizontal companies, instead of having to rely on the State to tax big vertical companies, that usually escape taxes…

Leo B
Leo B
1 month ago
Reply to  Benedetto

I don’t want to get in on the Bolivia debate, because I know very little about it, but this statement drew my attention:

//Only people with a high degree/education together with experience should be allowed into parliaments and governments.
..
This would prevent populism, of any kind.//

When looking at Western Europe right now, it’s actually the other way around. Highly educated people have been over-represented in both governments and parliaments and lower educated people do not see their opinions voiced anymore. The rise of populism seems like a direct result of neglecting the opinions of the lower educated. And a problem (for the highly educated) is that the lower educated have some very real and valid concerns over their own position. This is what empowers the populist leaders, often highly educated, and they abuse that power to drive their own narrow minded, privately motivated policies.
The main challenge in our time is, I think, properly explained by Piketty in his famous book (Capital in the 21st century): the growing imbalance between the profitabilty of capital versus labour. Capital is concentrated within the highly educated elite, labour is concentrated in the lower educated mass majority. If we don’t find some sort of solution for that, our advanced societies will contiously be disrupted by civil unrest, populism, coups or imperialism.

Karl Marx
Karl Marx
1 month ago

Communism is inevitable

Andrés
Andrés
1 month ago

Estas bien Pedro Lima??????. Que diablos pinta todo este panfleto político aquí?????. Se ha llenado de gloria oiga……Menuda decepción me he llevado con usted. Esto no es que sea patético es que es peor que eso, no me lo esperaba sinceramente. Recuerde el respeto se tarda años en conseguir y el desastre y la ruina personal se puede conseguir en minutos. Enhorabuena Pedro Lima ha conseguido lo segundo en cuestión de minutos. Lo dicho que disfrute de su auto-ruina.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

It’s great to see the resounding victory for MAS in Bolivia. However, the future is still uncertain as the armed forces came down heavily on the side of the coup mongers. Remember how Allende’s Chile turned out.
The lithium supply may now go to China under more favourable terms than to the US.
Cuba has significant cobalt resources but anyone buying it has a fine slapped on them by the US under the illegal trade embargo.
Support Bolivia, support Cuba!

dipthroat
dipthroat
3 days ago

well, that doesn’t bode well with no more wars and coups for resources. Hopefully, it will be less deleterious. Concerning Musk, in recent months, with his moronic take on the pandemic he has proven a substantial ignorance outside his comfort zone. He is a brilliant software engineer and entrepreneur, nothing less, but nothing more either. As he is on a path to extreme wealth and power. Let’s hope his illuminated side will outweigh his evil one.