Luis Antezana writes in El Diario:
Hard-hitting book about the dispute with Chile
From the year 1904, when Ismael Montes’ “liberal” Government signed the peace treaty with Chile, an average of three books were published each year and pamphlets of strong protest against the one-sided agreement. Since then, a total of more than 300 allegations denouncing the nullity of that document has been published and proclaiming the recovery of the territory, the territorial sea and Bolivian ports usurped by the Chilean oligarchy.
All these texts repudiated the usurpation and the Treaty, vehemently. But now, Rodolfo Becerra de la Roca has just published a more solid and forceful document, taking not only a sentimental position, but primarily to prop up his position with innovative approaches and solid legal argumentation, which were absent in the majority of known publications.
Rodolfo Becerra’s book, entitled “Fraud of the war and peace” (with Chile), the essential basis for negotiation and solution of the locked Bolivian. His argument is based on objective analysis of the Bolivian-Chilean relationship, from the origin of the Foundation of Chile (1810) and Bolivia. More, this study is not limited to a description of the facts, but passed to analysis and interpretation, leaving aside the mere historical information and clarifying misrepresentations and omissions.
In this way, Becerra de la Roca has overcome more than the ancient and traditional still subsisting conception of pragmatic historians who posited that history must be empirically described on the basis of pre-established facts, without penetrating at all in its essence and without trying to understand the phenomena. A member, as he is, of the Bolivian Academy of Military History (ABHM), he unraveled each of the episodes of the relations of Bolivia with Chile and leaving the subjectivism which recommends refraining from critical appreciations and deductions, to see how the treacherous diplomacy of the Chilean oligarchy imposed their points of view on Bolivian politics and was accepted by national officials.
Becerra clarifies all the existing fallacies regarding the dispute facing Bolivia with Chile, based on the fact that Bolivia has never declared war on Chile (as pseudo historians attributed); the fraud of the ten cents and the alleged violation of the Treaty of August 1874; the scam of the vindication of the territories in the 23 and 24 degrees and others which seriously affected the Bolivian interests in favor of Chile.
In the second part of this book Becerra de la Roca refers to the Treaty of 1904 and demonstrates, as in his two previous books, that solution is not with an “exit” through Arica, that no treaty is intangible and that also the Protocol of November 1904 is also null. In synthesis, Becerra de la Roca steps on an issue that until now was backwards and being handled in a dismissive way by the Bolivian Foreign Ministry.
The author stresses against the traditional position of the Bolivian Governments, hoping that Chile will offer to resolve our outstanding right, it has to be backwards and that Bolivia should consider the solution of the problem, because it is our right, which never took place.
As logical conclusion, the book ‘The fraud of war and peace’, Becerra de la Roca, states as an alternative solution, that the Mejillones port, with a wide strip of territory connected with Potosi or Oruro, without territorial compensation nor award of any type; plus compensation for the undue exploitation of Chuquicamata; and the replacement of the border of the Truce Pact along our border with Chile.
Finally, he says that the demand presented to the Hague “is made with precipitation, but the worst thing is that we can deduce that the problem is not studied in depth and that, therefore, relates to the strength of the demand”.
This book should be adopted as official text for all levels of Bolivian education. It is edited by Plural and includes 440 pages.
I just wish more people would analyze and discuss this interesting book. Rodolfo and I became friends in late 80s, Rodolfo never ceases to surprise me, he is a very bright, committed Bolivian!