News / Americas

Argentina Renews Dispute With Britain Over Falklands

A girl sits beside a sign with the image of a soldier, during a protest by Argentine Falklands War veterans outside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, January 3, 2013.
A girl sits beside a sign with the image of a soldier, during a protest by Argentine Falklands War veterans outside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires, January 3, 2013.
Selah Hennessy
British Prime Minister David Cameron has rejected a call by Argentina’s president for Britain to give control of the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wrote an open letter to the British leader accusing his country of colonialism.

More than 30 years have passed since Britain and Argentina fought a 10-week war over the Falkland Islands, a British overseas territory in the southwest Atlantic Ocean, but their dispute continues.

In an open letter published as an advertisement in two British newspapers, Fernandez accused Britain of having “forcibly stripped” the islands from Argentina in a “blatant exercise” of 19th century colonialism. She called for Britain to begin discussions over the islands’ sovereignty and said Britain had breached U.N. resolutions urging a negotiated resolution.

A spokesperson for Cameron, though, said he would “do everything” to protect the interests of the islanders.

Falkland Islands government representative in London, Suki Cameron, said that Falkland islanders do not want to be part of Argentina.

“If they think that by writing letters like this it is going to bring us to talk to them, they have another thing coming,” she said.

The islanders are due to vote in a March referendum on whether they want to remain part of Britain’s self-governing overseas territories.  They are expected to vote in favor of remaining part of Britain.

The Falkland Islands government called for the referendum. The vote has been rejected by Argentina, which says it considers the few thousand people living on the islands as an “implanted British population."
 
Suki Cameron said the referendum will show the world how the islanders feel about their political status.

“It is important to show that we are an overseas territory by choice,” she said.

Argentina invaded the remote South Atlantic islands, which it calls the Malvinas, in 1982, but withdrew after 74 days. About 650 Argentinean and 255 British military personnel died in the conflict.

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by: Jenks from: Hull
January 04, 2013 5:00 PM
The Argentinian bleating about colonialism is laughable. Do they not realise that their country was built by colonialism? That their ancestors raped and pillaged their way across the continent?

Unlike Argentina, the Falkland Islands did not suffer waves of genocide in order to be founded, the islands were in fact first populated by British and French settlers that lived together in peace, long before Argentina even existed as a sovereign nation.

The talk of 1833 is a smokescreen. The islands were not stolen by Britain in 1833, they were reclaimed after having been taken by force originally by Spain. Argentina's only claim is one of inheritance by Spain, which is akin to stolen goods being left to them in a will.

Whether genuine ignorance or a tactic, their government ignores this, and simply uses the Falklands issue to rouse nationalist feelings and distract the Argentine public from the mess they've left the Argentine economy in. It's what the Junta did in the 80's, and it's what Kirchner is trying to do now.

by: Rufus from: UK
January 04, 2013 11:14 AM
There were discussions about soverignty througout the late 1960s and 1970s. They ended rather sharply when Argentina landed about 600 troops and six armoured personnel carriers on the islands (that had a normal token garrison of 30 marines) in 1982.

All arguements about UN resolutions prior to that calling for any peaceful process (i.e. all of them) were thus neatly shot down by Argentina, just as signing (1849) and ratifying (1850) a treaty stating that all disputes had been settled between Argentina and the UK does kind of scupper the whole 1833 arguement

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