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Final chapter written in Chaco war between Bolivia and Paraguay

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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:41 AM
Original message
Final chapter written in Chaco war between Bolivia and Paraguay

Lefties in South America are setting things right, something the dictators and juntas could or would not do.

Cristina will be hosting Evo Morales and Fernando Lugo on Monday in Buenos Aires to finally formally end a 71-year-old dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay. Cristina will be presenting Morales and Lugo a final settlement of the territorial limits of each country.

In 1932-1935 the two countries fought what is known as the Gran Chaco War, a conflict that most people have never even known was fought. It was sort of a prelude to the Spanish Civil war and WWII.

After Bolivia lost its access to the sea to Chile in the 1879 War of the Pacific, it wanted an outlet to the Atlantic via the Paraguay River to export petroleum. So Bolivia invaded Paraguayan territory but Paraguay over time doubled its territory with the conquest of most of the Gran Chaco.

Over 100,000 soldiers perished in the war, with Bolivia taking the brunt of the casualties. Indigenous Bolivians from the Andean highlands died like flies in the inhospitable arid Chaco. Germany, Italy, Argentina and Chile were among the nations that sent generals, tanks, biplanes, artillery, other weapons and mercenaries to both sides.

(video, grainy scenes of the war)

(Paraguayan propaganda video)


Lots of info on the war by googling.

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:03 AM
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1. Cristina Kirchner will receive Evo Morales and Fernando Lugo
President Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner will receive this Monday the chiefs of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, to deliver to them the Final Memory of the demarcation of the international limit between these countries, which will formalize the end of the frontier difference that they were having from the War of the Chaco 70 years ago. Then, the chancellors together with the representatives of the responsible countries, will sign the record of fulfillment and execution of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Limits between the Republics of Bolivia and Paraguay.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's a big event, for sure! Unless they'd had good Presidents, this never would have happened.
By the way, I heard in the last few months that the terrifying Bolivian narrow mountain road over which tons of people plummet every year to their deaths was built by the Paraguayan prisoners of war. I'll bet they lost some of the workers in that process, too.

It's good to see Christina Fernandez involved, as a neighboring President to both countries. She seems to genuinely like both Presidents, as well.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. The prelude to this peace treaty (re a war I had never even heard of) was Chile's
leftist president, Michele Batchelet, at long last settling the 100+ year old dispute between Chile and Bolivia, over Bolivia's access to the sea. She and Evo Morales formed an agreement which gives Bolivia a port on the Pacific in Chile (in that narrow strip of Chile which borders Bolivia's mid-section). Also, one other important preliminary was the agreement of Brazil, Venezuela and others, to fund creation of a new highway, from Brazil's Atlantic coast, across South America, and through Bolivia, to the Pacific. This will make Bolivia a major trade route, for trade along both coasts, and from the "global south" (Africa), as well as Europe, to the Asia-Pacific region (and back the other way).

The rightwing does wars--and everybody suffers except the war profiteers. The leftwing does peace--and everybody gains. It's so obvious, there and here.

One other observation: This disputed area, between Bolivia and Paraguay, is the province of Santa Cruz, seat of the white separatist movement that instigated riots and murder this last September, funded and organized out of the U.S. embassy (and by the DEA). It is quite possible that the Bushwhacks had planned to convey U.S. military support to the white separatists in landlocked Bolivia, via Paraguay, heretofore a fascist stronghold. But meanwhile (summer '08), Paraguay elected its first leftist president, ever--the highly popular Fernando Lugo--overturning 61 years of rightwing rule, including a period of heinous dictatorship. Lugo wants the U.S. military out of his country, and other things occurred--such as Paraguay rescinding its non-extradition law, and its immunity for the U.S. military--over the last year or so--making the likely Bushwhack plan to support the split-off of Santa Cruz (and several other gas/oil rich provinces) into a separate fascist mini-state in control of the resources, untenable. This was a very important event in South American history, on a par with the people of Venezuela defeating the Bushwhack-supported coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002. Morales threw the U.S. ambassador and the DEA out of Bolivia, for their collusion in the fascist riots and civil war plan, and the other leaders of South America called a meeting of UNASUR--the new South American Common Market, formalized only last summer--and gave Morales immediate and unanimous support, and helped broker a peace settlement (which allowed the Constitutional vote to go forward). The Venezuelan event, in 2002, was the first time that a South American people was able to defeat a U.S.-supported fascist coup. And the event in Bolivia, in 2008, was the first time that South America pulled together in defense of the sovereignty of their countries, and against U.S. interference.

This settlement of the boundary dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay further concretizes Bolivia's borders (including Santa Cruz) and its integrity as a nation, under the authority of the Morales government. It is a follow-up to these other events, and brings the weight of third parties (such as Argentina) and the will of the region's leaders to bear upon the inclusion of Santa Cruz (and its gas/oil riches) within Bolivia, and also creates stronger diplomatic ties between Bolivia and Paraguay, to prevent either one from ever being used to harm the other.
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Peru has thrown a monkey wrench into any Bolivia-Chile deal

Peru has taken its claims over about 35,000 square kilomters in northern Chile to the International Court in The Hague. This will setback negotiations between Santiago and La Paz for any outlet for Bolivia to the Pacific.

Btw, there was another "unknown" war in the Southern Cone. It was called the War of the Triple Alliance. Paraguay declared war on Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and fought all three. Needless to say, Paraguay lost. Some reports say up to 90 percent of Paraguayans were killed. Tough hombres, those Paraguayans, they fought literally to the last men.

An interesting sidebar to this war was that Brazil abolished slavery after the conflict. It was because slaves were freed to fight in the war, and that got the ball rolling for emancipation. Before the U.S. freed the slaves.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific, occurring from 1879-1883, was a conflict between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru. Also known as the "Saltpeter War", the war arose from disputes over the control of territory that contained substantial mineral-rich deposits. It ultimately led to the Chilean annexation of the Peruvian Tarapac department and Arica province, as well as the Bolivian department of Litoral, leaving Bolivia as a landlocked country.

I have a feeling this could take a considerable time to sort out ...
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Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. yep, so it would seem n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. It's funny how often British "investors" are involved in these messes. nt
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Bacchus39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. wrong, Brazil didn't grant emancipation until the 1880s
Cuba and Brazil were the last slave holding countries/colonies to abolish slavery in the Americas.
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