This morning the Washington Post Published and interesting report on the current sparks between Bolivia and Chile about their territorial conflict because of the land that Bolivia lost in the 1870 Pacific War with Peru and Chile.
Although more than 100 years had passed since that bloody war, the political irresponsibles (Evo Morales, Chavez and it's gang) in Bolivia are trying to capitalize on the feelings of citizens for a land that is no more a part of Bolivia.
The supporters of this claims to Chile argue that the lack of access to the sea has determined that they should remain impoverished for most of their lives. The argument is a fallacy and makes me remember the big lie that ecuadorians lived for most of the last 50 years crying for the lost riches of the Amazon. I don't deny the fact that the land was taken by force, invasion, and pure greed of the military in Peru that always considered Ecuador a part of their country. But the reality is that Ecuadorean military used this battle cry to grab huge benefits in all aspects of society. After 6 or 7 years of closing this chapter the Ecuadorian armed forces still are not able find a proper role in Ecuadorian society, and the corruption flaws of the armed forces still go unresolved and they are reluctant to be questioned.
I should also point out that with todays techonology is possible to live without access to the sea and be a rich nation. A case in point was Berlin that being walled for more than 40 years was able to manage huge amounts of development using planes to bring everything that the city needed. Also the Swiss have been landlocked all their lives, and it's one of the nations with a better standard of living.
What makes societies rich is not their vast natural resources or access to the sea or Oil wells in the Amazon basin but is actually a government that protects rule of Law, does not grant privileges, respects private property and free trade, and among all that respect it's citizens and privileges the Human capital and makes all the conditions for the individual creativity to spark.
If Bolivia wants to get in the path of development and need access to sell their products to the world markets, sign a free trade agreement with the Chilean (and all the surrounding nations), follow their example of liberalization of the local economy, stop crying for bitter episodes of the past and start looking to the future.