Bolivian History 101: The significance of Abaroa’s sublime sacrifice

Rodolfo Becerra writes in El Diario:

The significance of Abaroa’s sublime sacrifice

Rodolfo BecerraMany voices say the issue of invasion of Chile to the Bolivian Litoral is a thing of the past and we should forget and make new approaches. This position is disloyal and treacherous, because we must maintain our condemnation of this act of forced and unjust occupation of our territory until we claim at least one port. Bolivia has the right to return to the Pacific Ocean, because it needs to be linked to every country in the world, without asking anyone’s permission. Bolivia does not maintain this attitude with a sense of revenge, because it does need to proclaim the truth of perfidious assault that began on February 14, 1879, when Chile invaded Antofagasta with armed force and armored ships on Bolivian coast.

After the occupation, Chile continued with the occupation of Caracoles, Mejillones, Cobija, Tocopilla and finally Calama, where a group of Bolivians decided to face the invading Chilean, where the military superiority despite the heroism of Bolivians won. The bout was held on March 23, 1879, when a Bolivian Eduardo Abaroa, conspicuous by his sublime heroism, sacrificing his life after launching the invader intimated to surrender, that cry of manhood : “Surrender your grandma #$%^”.

But what was the origin of the invasion of Chile?, Ambition. They sought the pretext that Bolivia breached the Treaty of 1874 that will not raise taxes imposed on salt mist that existed at that time. We have shown that such failure did not exist because the firm Compañia de Salitre y Ferrocarril de Antofagasta, exported free of any export duty. Then, when the government ordered the Hilarion Daza charge 10 cents per quintal of nitrate exported, was not in breach of the treaty, because there was not an increase on any tax, gratuity was simply deleting the export, because the treaty stipulated that there was a tax and then had chosen to charge was not an increase.

Another excuse is that Chile plotted that Bolivia declared war on March 1, 1879. And this is even repeated by Bolivian historians! Which is false. The government of General Hilarion Daza in issuing the decree of this date, was taking precautionary measures before the Chilean invasion. Because besides the declaration of war was and is the responsibility of Congress, who never used it.

Moreover, Chile to invade Bolivia violated a solemn multilateral treaty signed on January 23, 1865 by Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Salvador and Venezuela, by which forced would not become hostile and would not resort to arms as means of resolving their differences, but even in full force this treaty, Bolivia was attacked by Chile in the most treacherous manner.

Chile declared war on Peru on April 5, 1879. Because of this fact, Bolivia never fought it its territory and participated in the war in Peruvian territory, as an ally of the war in Peru and Bolivia, which had been occupied violently during the months of February and March 1879, however Chileans claim that Bolivia declared war, that the Bolivian Litoral was conquered with the life and blood of their soldiers, which is completely false. The war took place in Peruvian territory, where Bolivia participated as an ally of Peru, but when defeated, Bolivia was asked for war compensation and war never took place in its territory.

The whole history of the Bolivian Littoral that aggression is a history of fraud and we can conclude that Chile appropriated our Coastal zone for free.

Young people and children, all Bolivians must know that Bolivia was stripped and must hold alive the feeling of vindication of our maritime territory cruelly dispossessed also as a tribute to sublime sacrifice of Eduardo Abaroa who offered his life to defend the homeland.

Eduardo AbaroaAbaroa is an enduring lesson of deep civility and sacrifice that must never be forgotten by Bolivians, it is a warning message to governments, to be proactive in defending our rights dormant on the littoral, is a warning that the state neglect its borders, it is the example of pride that must collect our youth is the throbbing love the ground that shelters us, that is, in short, the cry of repudiation of all injustice and all aggression.

Bibliography: The Fraud of War and Peace , the author.

Chile likes to brag about becoming a thriving, civilized, “European-type” society… and yet, fail to acknowledge that they took by assault, by, force, without declaration of war our sea-coast. Sustainable development is easier for countries who are not land locked and that is a fact. Well into the 21st century, we demand JUSTICE!!!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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