Bolivia’s Santa Cruz — Peru’s Socialist President Pedro Castillo made a mysterious statement in a live interview on January 25 about the possibility of giving the landlocked country Bolivia a sea exit.
Castillo said he had heard screams from his southern neighbors for equal access, and then added that he would “consult people” in Peru through a referendum without giving details.
Castillo said when asked about the reactions his proposal might cause. I came to carry out the will of the Peruvian people. “
As expected, the president’s comments caused immediate anger at home.
This is the latest in a series of embarrassed heads of state blunders and administrative failures.
Castillo slightly missed impeachment in December 2021 due to an embezzlement scandal involving members of his administration and is currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s office on suspicion of eradicating influence over government contracts. increase.
“Why create a barrier? [to Bolivia]?? Castillo asked rhetorically.
At the top of the list of complaints about leaders’ comments was the Armed Forces.
On January 27, the Peruvian Army issued a formal statement condemning Castillo’s remarks.
“A presidential statement outlining the potential for impairing the integrity of the Republic is a crime for good Peruvians,” the declaration was read and signed by three commanders.
In addition, the Declaration called Castillo’s proposed land grants to Bolivia “an unacceptable betrayal of his homeland for the benefit of another country” and compared it to treason.
Rep. Maria del Carmen Alba also counterattacked the president, Article 54 Under the provisions of the national constitution, national territory is “inviolable and inviolable”, including land, subsoil, sea and airspace.
She added, “National sovereignty and the Constitution. [must be] Respected. “
Another lawmaker, Ernesto Bustamante, said Castillo’s careless remarks created unrealistic expectations through the president’s “clear support to allow sovereign access to the sea from Peru” in Bolivia and Peru. He said he was already burdening his relationship.
Indignation fueled, Parliamentarian Rosselli Amruz asked the president to resign.
“Our country can’t unintentionally keep someone who admits that he’s too big for him to be ready to rule … resigning from the president.”
Castillo sought to smooth out the ruffled feathers of his compatriots by revealing his position on January 31st.
“Yes, I have expressed myself badly, and I apologize to our people,” he admitted.
The president went on to assure the Peruvians that they would do nothing without their general consent and suggested that controversial measures be voted on.
He also noted that the concept of giving Bolivia sovereign territory for maritime use was not a new concept, but was proposed under former dictators Alberto Fujimori and President Alan Garcia.
Castillo said he would only provide maritime access to Bolivia, subject to mutual development of economic and tourism growth, and investment between the two countries.
The Luis Arce administration in Bolivia is a member of the socialist administration that has survived under former President Evo Morales since 2006 and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Castillo administration.
He also mentioned the possibility of getting cheaper gasoline from Bolivia in exchange for giving the Arse government an exit to the sea.
“Reassure our brothers that I am the first to defend the integrity of our country and that the proposal for maritime concessions does not deny national sovereignty,” Castillo said.