Why in hell does Bolivia have a 'Naval Attache'?

I’m going through one of my magazines foreign service lists and there it is…

Commander XXX
Naval Attache, Embassy of Bolivia


Bolivia is landlocked!

Maybe they misspelled it, and this guy’s in charge of all Bolivian bellybuttons abroad?

Oh, and BTW: Switzerland has a navy. It’s one ship on Lake Geneva, IIRC. :smiley:

Bolivia wasn’t always landlocked. Once they had a coastline, but they lost it in a war with Peru. But they’re going to get it back someday, dammit! And when that day comes, they’re going to have a navy ready!

Yes, I’m serious. Mostly.

Bolivia has numerous navigable rivers in the lowlands along the Brazilian/Paraguayan borders, and a navigable lake (Titicaca) in the highlands. The organization in charge of patrolling those is the Bolivian Navy, probably because they were the ones doing that at the time of loss-of-seashore. As flodnak mentioned, they don’t consider the issue of the coastal provinces – lost in a war with Chile, on the side of Peru – as completely ‘closed’. I can only imagine that at the time it happened, disbanding the Navy and replacing it with a “River Patrol” was politically out of the question

A somewhat dated report from the Library Of Congress Research Tools page (can’t link to the specific page of the article itself) reads in part:

… a visit to the Bolivian Navy’s webpage ( www.armada.mil.bo ) indicates that indeed they DID sensibly call it a “Fuerza Fluvial Lacustre” – Inland Waters Force – between 1897 and 1966, as a branch of the Army. Then as political evolutions went along, it was spun off as a re-independized “Fuerza Naval” or “Armada”, either which translates as “Navy”.

It also shows that its major units afloat are two Hospital Riverboats.

Coldfire almost has it correct. They needed a case to carry their belly buttons.