November 22, 2005

Bolivia, Chile and the Sea: The Ever Lasting Cycle

MABB © ®
There is a very discernable pattern to observe when it comes to the issue of sea access for Bolivia. For starters, I am sure you know that Bolivia lost its sea shores in the 1879 Pacific War. This war confronted Bolivia and Chile, where in the end, Chile gained not just Bolivian territory but Peruvian as well. More recently, the two countries have not had official diplomatic relations since the seventies. Throughout this time, Chile and Bolivia have, nevertheless, sought to look for a solution. This is the pattern I am talking about.

It starts with some sort of conflict arising. First, the media starts speaking of meetings between high official from both governments. Then both governments start making statements. On the Bolivian side, this last time, the media started quoting high Chilean officials as saying that their government would meet with the Bolivian government to speak about the issue, and later about ceding sea access.

Then Peru stick its nose in the middle and usually say or does something that scares Chile. More negotiations follow and then the traditional "hug" happens (between Bolivia and Chile). And last comes the hammer: Chile categorically discards giving Bolivia any access to the sea.

How do you like that?

(it sould be taken with a bit of humor :-))

The links reflect this month's Bolivian activity sparked by the controversial law passed by the Peruvian Congress. Sorry, it is all in Spanish.