Colombia has consistently supported Bolivia in its mission to reclaim a passage to the Pacific Ocean and the country reiterated its support last week during a meeting between the two heads of state in Bogotá.
Following the meeting on March 15, Bolivian Minister Carlos Romero said that the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, offered support to Bolivia in its struggle with Chile to gain access to the Pacific.
According to La Tercera, Santos “offered President Evo Morales and the Bolivian people any initiative and all the diligence of the Colombian state to support its maritime cause, recognizing it as a historical problem that needs to be solved.”
The Colombian president also offered some advice on how Bolivia should manage its relationship with Chile in terms that are “practical and proactive” that would obtain a quick solution to the maritime claim, Romero said.
Bolivia has been demanding access to the sea ever since Chile took its coastal territory in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific.
Discussions on the issue between Chile and the Bolivia are currently on hold. However, Chilean Sen. Hernán Larraín has said that “Chile is understanding and willing” to re-start talks, adding that “instead of taking drastic and emotional action, what we need is for Bolivia to decide which path it is going to follow.”
The Colombian government supported an OAS (Organization of American States) resolution in 1979, which urged Chile and Bolivia to start talks regarding the maritime claim. It also acted as a mediator in the talks between Chile and Bolivia in 1983.
By Struan Campbell Gray - The Santiago Time