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Bolivia Renews Demand for Access to Sea

La Paz, February 16 (RHC-teleSUR)-- Bolivian President Evo Morales has renewed the demand for access to the sea, affirming that the country's lawsuit filed against Chile in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is still underway.

The president's remarks were made in a special address to commemorate the start of the War of the Pacific, when Chile invaded the then Bolivian coastal city of Antofagasta on February 14, 1879.

Following the war, Bolivia lost 120,000 square kilometers of territory, including 400 kilometers of its coast – all of its access to the sea. Bolivia and Paraguay are the only two land locked South American countries.

In 2013, Morales filed a maritime claim with the ICJ in the Hague to oblige Chile to renegotiate its border with Bolivia on the grounds that Chile has not kept up with certain “unilateral promises” according to a treaty signed in 1904. The president also called Chile's initial invasion of Bolivian territory unjust and said the people of Bolivia have a right to sovereign access to the sea.

The Chilean government refuses to enter into discussions over the territory, saying the two countries voluntarily signed the 1904 agreement setting out the new borders, so Bolivia has no legal right to demand re-negotiations.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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