Ricardo Calla, very harsh but true opinion in Pagina Siete, photos from the internet:
The time to resign
In 2011, the increasingly authoritarian MAS government announced that it had decided to sue Chile before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as part of a new strategy to achieve the sovereign recovery of access to the sea for Bolivia. It was evident that the ruling regime was betting, in a very risky way, to judicialize the historical maritime claim of Bolivia, following its habit of judicializing the politics in the interior of Bolivia, legally persecuting whatever opposition was put at the front.
The despotic and aggressive mood of the MAS, which has led in the last 12 years to prosecute or threaten trials of countless of its most important opponents – the most recent case is the unfounded and radically arbitrary threat of prosecuting former President Mesa for the Quiborax case – it was thus transferred to the arena of international politics when Evo Morales decided to take Chile before the courts. The ICJ – it was argued – could not decide but that Chile – in the long decades of its exchanges with Bolivia on the maritime issue – would have contracted and would have the legal obligation to negotiate a sovereign maritime access for Bolivia.
Appealing to the undeniable conviction of every Bolivian, that a sovereign access to the Pacific coasts is an imprescriptible historical demand and an inalienable right of Bolivia, Evo Morales and his strategists won the support of a large majority of the country to deploy their strategy. They also won the support of newspapers, television channels, radio stations, journalists, leaders and opinion formers, leaders and public authorities of the opposition and even of several ex-presidents who -forced the latter for their investiture to support what became a political of State- went to swell the ranks of the adherents to the risky bet of the MAS.
It was, in any case, a bet whose risks could not initially be assessed collectively in all their dimensions. Judicializing the maritime cause, of course, was first to risk communicationally losing part, much or all of Chilean sympathy to the Bolivian demand. As a result, in the five years since 2011, the Chilean public opinion neutral, moderately in favor or fully in favor of the right of Bolivia to the sea, has been diluted due to the demand and the communication policies of the governments of Chile that it provoked and, on the other hand, the offensive and insulting anti-Chilean harangues of an Evo Morales incapable of containing his verbal aggression against the neighboring country.
But, nothing was that. Worse still, and this is the most serious, most deeply risky thing, to bring Chile to the international judicial stages was to place in the hands of a neutral outsider, the ICJ, our right to the sea. That was the risk play, in a game of international politics with sudden death dangers.
And in the hands of the ICJ, the risky lawsuit was placed and, apparently, it was placed with an enormous mediocrity and technical indifference of the Bolivian and international legal team, formed and hired by the MAS for that matter. At the same time, while the Bolivian legal team apparently expanded to develop a poor and insufficiently supported demand, Evo Morales and his party-increasingly arrogant and self-deceived by their own triumphalist rhetoric-began to generate expectations about the demand at the ICJ that can only be explained by the open and evident political pretension of the MAS to manipulate Bolivian public opinion in order to make the re-postulation/re-election of the Morales-García binomial acceptable in the country by the end of 2019.
Politicizing and electoralizing the issue of the sea, on the one hand, and on the other hand promoting the deployment of a legal-technical work finally -seeing the results- embarrassing, the MAS made its risky bet an adventure that has ended in a disaster. Listening to the baleful content of the Hague ruling on October 1, the ICJ rejected one by one each and every one of the basic arguments of the Bolivian lawsuit as presented by the MAS government and its legal team.
Just today, with the lapidary and radical failure of the ICJ, we can measure – after the collective mirage in which we have lived due to the massive propaganda manipulation of the MAS regarding the demand in The Hague – the damage that the government of Evo Morales has made to our maritime cause.
The Bolivian efforts during a whole century to claim internationally in the juridical plane our right to the sea have been shattered. Thanks to Evo Morales we have suffered the worst international legal defeat regarding the country’s historic maritime cause. Now Chile can argue, relying on the ruling of the ICJ, that it has no legal obligation to negotiate a sovereign exit to the sea for Bolivia.
Reverting from now things in favor of our maritime cause will take lustrums, if not decades. Evo Morales can not cover his responsibility with a finger, or with any excuse, regarding the immense and historical damage that his aggressiveness and the legal disgrace of his team of lawyers have done to Bolivia. If someone is responsible for what happened, that is Evo Morales, no other.
Given the seriousness of the ruling in The Hague and the absolute failure of misguided judicialization of the historic maritime claim of Bolivia by the MAS, the only thing that corresponds is that Evo Morales resign his position as President of Bolivia. Nothing less can be demanded and raised now. Nothing less than this must be demanded in the massive rallies on October 10, when we all go out to defend democracy and the referendum on February 21, 2016. What happened forces Evo Morales to take responsibility.