Will Bolivia finally get its sea back?

Published by Chile Today

THE HAGUE – A final solution for the long-lasting dispute between Chile and Bolivia is expected soon. During the last meeting the countries had at the international court of justice headquarter in The Hague, Netherlands, the representatives of each country had the chance to give their opinion concerning the diplomatic stand-off.

The session began on Monday, with the opening words of the Bolivian deputy, who expressed the imminent need to solve the need for sea access. This despute dates from the 19th century when Chile went to war against combined forces of Peru and Bolivia. Representatives of Chile and Peru met at the ICJ (International Court of Justice) to state their demands, but the meeting went on until March 29th and the final decision of the magistrates is expected to be revealed the following months.

Alvaro García Linera, Vice-president of Bolivia. (Twitter / @VPEP_Bol)
Alvaro García Linera, Vice-president of Bolivia. (Twitter / @VPEP_Bol)

The declarations of the two parts were clearly defined by the economic interest they pursue, and the repercussions that the decision can bring along, a case pointed out by Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia, who stated that: “Bolivia´s lack of direct access to the sea is holding back its economy. It is estimated that if Bolivia had not been stripped of the sea, the annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth could be at least 20 percent higher”.

Chile, on the other hand, sustained that there is nothing to negotiate and its sovereign borders are fixed through a treaty after the Pacific war. Besides, as a response to the declarations of Bolivia in which they brought up the story of David and Goliath as an analogy to describe the situation between Chile and Bolivia, the Chilean Lawyer and Agent before the International Court of Justice Ximena Fuentes told CNN Chile that: “invoking the suffering of the people will not create neither right nor a correlative obligation”.

For his part, President of Chile Sebastian Piñera pointed out that he was going to inform the Chilean deputiesat the court, to respond to the maritime lawsuit filed by the Bolivian country. Piñera added that: “Foreign policy, and even more when it comes to boundary issues and sovereignty, must be a state policy. For that reason, I will gather a skilled team of Chilean agents to defend our cause against the unfounded maritime lawsuit filed by Bolivia”.

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