Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Argentine sabre rattles again

Argentina is at it again!  One would have thought they would be remembering their dead as the 30 year anniversary of the Falkland Conflict approaches.  Instead they are engaged in their favoured nationalist pastime of sabre-rattling and intimidation of the Falkland population.

Lately the Argentine president, Cristina Fern√°ndez de Kirchner, has been spending her time convincing the South American neighbours to join in the perpetual diplomatic bullying of the islanders.  In December, she managed to convince the Mercosur trade federation which includes Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil to ban ships bearing the Falkland’s flag from entering their ports.

It does raise the question of why the Mercosur have got involved in the nationalist obsession of Argentina.  Brazil should have more important problems to deal with, such as improving the living standards of their vast impoverished poor.  Uruguay’s acquiescence to their powerful neighbour is not particularly unsurprising.  Paraguay is a landlocked country, so one may reasonably wonder how many ships of any nation will use their ports.

At the Mercosur summit, the Falkland Islands were described as "a colonial British possession in South America”.  This fits with Argentina’s favoured tactic of portraying Britain as an imperial aggressor predating the coast of Latin America.  Despite this depiction being at least 100 years out of date, it fits into the rhetoric of many of South America’s despotic leaders, who are feeling confident at the moment and want to shed the controlling hand of the United States.  Lacking the bravery to challenge a superpower, they are using the Falklands to attack America’s closest, but vastly weaker ally instead.

The only inhabitants to ever live on the Falklands have been European; there was no indigenous population.  Contrastingly, in Argentina, the Amerindian populations have fallen to less than 2% being supplanted by Spanish invaders and subsequent European immigration.  That the Argentine claim to the Falklands is based on that of their former Spanish colonial masters, gives a powerful suggestion of just who the real imperialists are.

Argentina’s actual argument is that as the Falklands are small islands near a larger country they should by default be theirs.  Their desire for sovereignty based on nationalism and public diversion.  If we follow this imbecilic logic, then maps will have to be redrawn and millions forcibly removed across the globe.  Japan must belong to China and the Caribbean must be an annex of the United States.

For all of the bluster and bullying, the fate of the Falklands always returns to the right of self determination, enshrined in article 1 of the United Nations Charter.  Britain has historically seen the Falklands as a point of principle, it is for the islanders to decide their own fate, but following 1982 it would be a lie not to admit that the issue has now become a point of pride.

No British prime minister for the foreseeable future could ever contemplate betraying the Falkland Islanders’ wishes to remain British citizens under British protection, and that principle will be defended; whatever the cost maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately the sane among the international community realise who has had a military junta that killed 24,000 of its own citizens, started an illegal war of aggression, has refused on three occasions to submit a claim to the ICJ, relinquished its claim to the Falklands in 1850, cannot claim sovereignty under the UN Charter, has never held sovereignty over the Falklands and is guilty of gross hypocrisy in claiming 'colonialism' by stealing the land of the Mapuche and others with much bloodshed, whereas the Falklands were settled peacefully by the British before Argentina existed. There is no case for Argentine sovereignty and the international community knows that very well: hence the failure to submit a claim to the ICJ on three occasions within the last eighty years. This frankly bizarre people prefers the route of economic mismanagement, indoctrination and nationalist fervour.

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