Bolivia lost its coast to Chile during the War of the Pacific (1879-83) and every Bolivian leader since than has come to power with the hope of taking back the coast. Without a coast, Bolivia is wholly dependent on Chile and Peru for its trade and relations between the two countries has always been tense.
In 2003, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada’s plan to export Bolivian gas through Chile and than to the United States infuriated many Bolivians. First off, the oil company was getting preferential treatment from the government and second, many Bolivians saw the pipeline to Chile as an affront to their national honor. The protests and the brutal response from the government forced Sánchez de Lozada to resign.
One can only hope that Bolivia regains its coast.
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