Bolivia asks Sean Penn to help get its coast back

Worth a shot, I guess: Evo Morales, the socialist president of the arid nation high in the Andes, on Tuesday asked the US actor to help its campaign to press Chile to overhaul treaties that ended a 19th-century war that cost Bolivia its coast and gave the land to Chile. Being landlocked makes trade and ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images
AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images
AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images

Worth a shot, I guess:

Evo Morales, the socialist president of the arid nation high in the Andes, on Tuesday asked the US actor to help its campaign to press Chile to overhaul treaties that ended a 19th-century war that cost Bolivia its coast and gave the land to Chile.

Being landlocked makes trade and transport difficult for Bolivia, already South America's poorest nation.

Worth a shot, I guess:

Evo Morales, the socialist president of the arid nation high in the Andes, on Tuesday asked the US actor to help its campaign to press Chile to overhaul treaties that ended a 19th-century war that cost Bolivia its coast and gave the land to Chile.

Being landlocked makes trade and transport difficult for Bolivia, already South America’s poorest nation.

Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Penn, known for his friendship with Morales ally President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, was a "militant for noble causes."

Bolivia still claims the coastline in lost to Chile in a 1879-1884 war and even maintains a navy — many of whose sailors have never seen the ocean — in the hopes that one its territory will again stretch to the sea. 

As for Penn, his forway into the Falklands/Malvinas controversy earlier this year wasn’t very well received in Britain. It’s hard to imagine that Chile will be that much more welcoming to Spicoli’s diplomatic overtures. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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