Bolivia was deprived of her sovereign access to the sea, of a great portion of territory on the Pacific coast and all natural resources therein, through a war of invasion perpetrated by Chile in 1879 that also affected Peru –a Bolivian ally- who endured the occupation of Lima by Chilean forces and the loss of Arica. Bolivian maritime revindication is an unarguable right, it is the most important topic of national unity in Bolivia, but it also is the best instrument of political use. Evo Morales and his regime manipulate the topic of Bolivia’s sovereign access to the sea, being discussed at The Hague, as another of the dictatorship’s deceptions to the Bolivian people.
The armistice of the “Pacific War” was achieved through the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1904 between Bolivia and Chile and through the Treaty of Lima in 1929 between Chile and Peru. This treaty in its complementary protocol establishes that “the governments of Peru and Chile shall not be able to, without a prior agreement between them, cede to a third party the totality or part of those territories which, as prescribed in the treaty of this same date, remain under their respective sovereignty…” This is why any solution with a sovereign access to the sea for Bolivia is a three party matter that must also include Chile and Peru.
There were a number of initiatives to resolve this matter; bilateral and multilateral talks, academic and political initiatives, international litigation, the intercession of organizations and states, mediation, backing from military dictatorships, direct, confidential, and secret negotiations. Bolivian president and intellectual Walter Guevara proposed a thesis calling for a “Tri-national Arica” as a solution for a territory to be shared among the three countries.
Ever since 1978, there are no diplomatic relations between Chile and Bolivia. Not having a sovereign access to the sea causes Bolivia the loss of at least 1% of its annual Internal Brute Production (PIB in Spanish). In the ensuing 139 year span, the country has been reduced to less than half of what it could have been with its own ports on the Pacific.
As a political propaganda effort with high costs, international advisors, expensive national staff, and abiding by the influence of the 21st century socialism, Evo Morales and his regime decided the Castroist-Chavist’s use of Bolivia’s maritime revindication to prop up and sustain his deteriorated image, cover up the crisis, and distract the people. Manipulating “the topic regarding which no Bolivian could be against”, they sued in The Hague asking the International Court of Justice “to determine the obligation to negotiate” of Chile with Bolivia.
The Bolivian maritime cause has been reduced to be Evo Morales’ regime’s political instrument that he uses as another hot air balloon for the dictatorship, in the same way Maduro does in Venezuela. The objective reality, thus far, shows:
- Bolivia’s maritime revindication is NOT being litigated. This is NOT about the matter of essence. They are only asking “to determine the obligation to negotiate” of Chile with Bolivia. Something for which there has never been a need to enter into costly litigation.
- The objective of the litigation is bilateral –Bolivia and Chile- on a matter that is tri-national in nature. Any solution or litigation must include Peru, as agreed in the Treaty of Lima of 1929.
- If The Hague rules in favor of Morales’ argument and Chile still refuses to negotiate, NOTHING happens!
- If The Hague rules in favor of Morales’ argument and Chile negotiates without any results, NOTHING happens! To negotiate does not mean to have an agreement and least of all to have a sovereign access to the sea.
- Evo Morales with his narco-state is flooding Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and other countries, with cocaine. Chile’s position on this matter is amply clear. Will Morales resign his Transnational Organized Crime relationship on this problem with Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, prior to entering into any negotiation?
- The regime manipulates this “show” in order to; defuse the Bolivian people’s rejection to Evo Morales perpetuation in power, to ignore the 21F referendum that clearly said NO to another term for Evo, to conceal his corruption and simulate –with a pilgrimage to The Hague- the existence of unity with complacent politicians, who were either deceived, or were recruited, and who knowingly became the dictator’s choir.
- Evo Morales has shown his trust on the influence over the judges in The Hague by his allies from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the countries from Petrocaribe, and the backing of Russia, China, Iran, and other “anti-imperialist” or “pro-terrorism” governments to accomplish “the order of dialogue or negotiation” and present it as “a historic victory”. A pure and hardcore dictatorial strategy.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Sunday March 18th, 2018