Bolivians Unfurl Huge Flag in Support for Sea Access Claim

Photo via The Spokesman-Review
On Saturday, Bolivia unfurled a bright blue flag that is almost 200 km long (124 miles) in a display of support for the bid of the landlocked country to regain sovereign access to the sea.

Thousands of Bolivians held the so-called “flag of maritime revindication,” which appeared like a long ribbon along a highway that is located in the Andes between the towns of Apacheta and Oruro, on the outskirts of La Paz.

The show of patriotism intends to cheer on the legal team of Bolivia ahead of the oral arguments that it will deliver at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) about the claim of the country to sovereign access to the Pacific coast of Chile.

After a late 19th century war with Chile, Bolivia lost its access to the Pacific Ocean. However, it still maintains a navy and desires a corridor to the sea to improve its exports of minerals and natural gas.

After flying over the flag in a helicopter, President Evo Morales stated: “We’ll show the International Court of Justice and all people on the planet that our cause is just, reasonable and sound.”

Morales was met with street protests during the past months because of his plan to seek a fourth presidential term in 2019 after a court abolished term limits last year.

Chile and Bolivia are scheduled to begin the nine days of oral arguments before the ICJ on the 19th of March.