Friday, September 02, 2005

The Bolivian Navy

Most countries without a coast would have given up on the idea of having a Navy years ago, not so Bolivia. The Bolivian Navy has 6800 personnel including 2000 marines(many of them trained in the top academies of Europe and America and ¨the fleet ¨ includes dozens of boats. (These intrepid seamen only have one ocean going vessel and this is docked in Argentina and apparently has never even been near Bolivia). Bolivia also has a national holiday called the Day of the Sea and it is still possible to reach the rank of Admiral. Every year Bolivia selects a Miss Coastline in a nationally televised beauty contest. Now if all this information isn´t proof that altitude affects your mental faculties than I don´t know what is. Navy headquarters is located on Lake Titicaca where we are now, which also happens to be the world´s highest Navigable lake (3900 metres). The Bolivians lost their access to the sea in 1884 and have been attempting to regain it everynow and then thru a series of ill concieved military campaigns, no surprise really if they plan on any naval manouveres.

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