Bolivian President Luis Arce Catacora Wednesday urged the new Chilean Government to discuss the maritime dispute between the two countries, on which the future of ties necessarily hinges.
During a ceremony to commemorate the Day of the Sea and the 143rd anniversary of the Defense of Calama, Arce stressed that the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Chile will only be achieved through a solution to that matter, which is the consequence of the Pacific War Bolivia lost to Chile in the late 1800s.
Arce called on Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font to make the words of his predecessor Salvador Allende his own when he said in 1970: Chile has a century-old debt with Bolivia and we are ready for a historic solution.
Bolivia and Chile have greater opportunities if they work together, overcoming the discourse of past centuries and advancing in the diplomacy of the peoples, generating good faith dialogues, Arce also said.
Arce added that Bolivia's right to the sea is an inalienable and imprescriptible right, on the territory that gives it access to the Pacific Ocean and its maritime space, as established in Article 267 of our Political Constitution of the State.
Hence, ”the re-establishment of diplomatic relations (with Chile) will only be possible within the framework of the solution to the pending maritime issue, Arce went on.
The Bolivian president insisted that depriving his country of access to the seashore was one of Chile's most serious international faults and that the immense damage it has committed in 1879 is in the international conscience.
Arce recalled that the war severed more than 120 thousand square kilometers of territory, with abundant natural resources, in addition to 400 kilometers of coastline in the Pacific Ocean. He also argued that the landlocked situation has increased Bolivia's dependence and has made it difficult for it to participate in world trade. The consequences of this confinement are not only economic but also political, social, and cultural,” Arce underlined.
Arce also recalled that a diplomatic rapprochement was within the conclusions set forth by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.