Thursday, October 21, 2010

Congratulations to Bolivia

The Independent reports that Bolivia has successfully negotiated access to the Pacific Ocean with Peru.
Land-locked Bolivia is getting a tiny sliver of the Pacific – a dock, a free-trade zone and the right to run some naval vessels, although the agreement signed with Peru falls far short of what Bolivians have dreamed of for 126 years – a coastline of their own.

Peru's president Alan Garcia announced the pact during a ceremony at the southern Peruvian port of Ilo. It is part of a longstanding crusade by both Peru and Bolivia to prod neighbouring Chile into giving back some of the territory it seized in the 19th-century War of the Pacific.
I recall that working in Bolivia one could get a round of applause in any meeting by injecting "hacia al mar!" Not only was access to the sea a matter of national pride, but it should help Bolivia in its economic development, a development that is very much needed in this very poor nation.

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