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Turning back the clock with Fidel Castro

20th century? Pah. Fidel prefers 1879:

"Cuba’s Fidel Castro opened some historical wounds last week when he publicly asked Chile to return land Bolivia lost in a war 130 years ago that cut off its access to the Pacific....the ailing former president compared right-wing supporters of the late General Augosto Pinochet to the same Chilean “oligarchy that robbed Bolivia of its coastline” in 1879. “Bolivia suffered an extraordinary historical humiliation in that struggle,” Castro wrote. “Not only was [the country’s] coastline and access to the ocean stolen away from it, but extensive territories were also taken away from it.”....Meanwhile, Bolivian President Evo Morales thanked Castro, who has become a close ally. “With the utmost respect to the Chilean people, we may have to take this [dispute] to the international level,” he said in a statement from Russia, where he is on a state visit" (El Pais - link will only work today though).

Details on the War of the Pacific here, but note that it was Bolivia that made the first declaration of war, 1/3/79. Chile did the same 5/4/79. Anyway, it is still a bone of some contention, with the Bolivians taking it badly, and Chilean football fans chant "Vamos a la playa" ("Let's go to the beach")' when playing Bolivia, apparently.

Anyway, Bolivia at its greatest extent:

(Atlas of Territorial and Border Disputes, NEL 1980)

And going that little bit further, South America in 1883:



(The Student's Atlas, Collins, circa 1880. Every home should have one...)

Fidel should be wary of this revisionism, as Cuba was still a Spanish colony in 1883, and did not abolish slavery until 1886. However, this is all about sucking up to one of his mate's on the continent, obviously. Further, a quick glance at the respective militaries of Chile and Bolivia - should Morales fancy upping the ante - suggests that Bolivian forces would face annihilation. Plus the Chilean Army has never lost a war, marking this with the motto, "siempre vencedor y jamas vencido".

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Blogger Ross said... 4:09 pm

"Chilean football fans chant "Vamos a la playa" ("Let's go to the beach")' when playing Bolivia, apparently."

That's brilliant.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:28 pm

It is inspired, isn't it?  



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