Bolivia to Chile: Give Us Sea Access or We'll Sue

Landlocked country aims to regain access after 132 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2011 2:15 PM CDT
Bolivia to Chile: Give Us Sea Access or We'll Sue
Bolivian marines parade past Bolivia's President Evo Morales, top center, as part of Sea Day celebrations in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday March 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

(Newser) – After more than a century with no access to the Pacific, Bolivia is threatening to take Chile to international court in a fight for its right to sail. Bolivia lost those rights in a war 132 years ago, and it remains an “open wound,” according to President Evo Morales. “We must go to international tribunals and organizations to demand free and sovereign access to the sea,” he said. But Chile’s leader said the idea presented a “serious obstacle” in their relations, the BBC reports.

Bolivia had set a deadline of March 23—the country's "Sea Day"—for proposals from Chile, but Chile offered none. “Bolivia cannot expect a direct, frank and sincere dialogue while it simultaneously manifests its intention to go to international tribunals,” said Chile’s president, Sebastian Pinera, in what he called a “categorical rejection” of Morales' "unacceptable pretension." (Read more Bolivia stories.)

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