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Montevideo, November 16th 2018 - 18:09 UTC

Morales insists in involving the Pope in the ongoing sea outlet dispute between Bolivia and Chile

Monday, December 18th 2017 - 11:39 UTC
Full article 8 comments
According to the Vatican the pope and Morales spoke about “various themes of common interest,” and there was no mention of the ongoing dispute. AP According to the Vatican the pope and Morales spoke about “various themes of common interest,” and there was no mention of the ongoing dispute. AP

Bolivian President Evo Morales implied in a Tweet that he and Pope Francis had discussed Bolivia’s territorial dispute with Chile during a meeting at the Vatican on December 15. According to the Vatican, the 30-minute private meeting “took place in a cordial atmosphere.”

 During their conversation, the Vatican said, “appreciation was expressed for the contribution the church has given and continues to ensure in favor of the human, social and cultural progress of the population of the country, and mention was made of the updating of the framework of agreements between the Holy See and Bolivia.”

In his official Twitter account, President Morales said his meeting with the pope “gives me more strength and more commitment” to serving the most abandoned. The pope’s “reflections on the poorest, his prayers for peace and against injustice are always for reflection,” he tweeted after the meeting.

Although the Vatican said Morales and the pope spoke about “various themes of common interest,” there was no mention in the Vatican statement of the ongoing dispute between Bolivia and Chile. Francis will visit Chile Jan. 15-18.

Bolivia and Chile share a border of more than 650 kilometers, but do not have diplomatic relations. The sour relations are the product of a long history: Chile defeated Bolivia and Peru in the War of the Pacific in 1879 and seized a mineral-rich region of Bolivia, turning Bolivia into a landlocked country.

Access to the sea is a common call from Bolivia, but Chile considers the case closed.

Morales has tried to draw Francis into the issue. When he welcomed the pope to Bolivia in 2015, Morales told him, “You have arrived in a country mutilated by its lack of access to the sea,” and gave him a gift, the “Book of the Sea.”

Francis responded by saying, “Dialogue is indispensable,” along with “building bridges instead of building walls.”

In a second tweet Dec. 15, Morales said Bolivia “still has very emotional memories” of the pope’s visit, and he thanked the pope for his support of their claim to sea access, using the hashtag #MarParaBolivia (#SeaForBolivia).

Arriving in the papal library, Morales warmly greeted the pope saying, “Brother Pope, good morning.” As they sat down, the Bolivian president told Francis that he looked “much younger.”

Top Comments

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  • Brit Bob

    Chile defeated Bolivia and Peru in the War of the Pacific in 1879 and seized a mineral-rich region of Bolivia, turning Bolivia into a landlocked country.

    That's it then (Obtained by conquest). Perfectly legal in the 19th Century.

    Falkland Islands – The Usurpation (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/34838377/Falkland_Islands_The_Usurpation

    Dec 18th, 2017 - 11:58 am +1
  • Mr Ed

    The Holy Se(a)/(e)? This is not a 'dispute' so much as a bogus claim by a bunch of socialists seeking to stir up trouble. Bolivia is landlocked, so are Austria (formerly a naval power with a coast), Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and they all do fine. Bolivia lost its land that gave it a coast, but it has not lost access to the seas, as it still has access to ports. The Pope's state (the Holy See) also, in a way, lost access to the sea when the Papal States were lost to Italy, but Mussolini gave the Pope the Vatican City State (which doesn't quite touch the Tiber) so the Pope's only claim to access to the sea would be if his sewers were an international waterway. So let's flush away this nonsense and let things be.

    Dec 18th, 2017 - 01:00 pm +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Why doesn't the pope stick to spiritual matters ? and Morales to smoking some weed ?

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 08:57 pm +1
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