A Knife in the Heart of South America

20 Dec

Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, attending the Mercosur conference in Montevideo yesterday, referred to Britain’s presence in the South Atlantic as a, “knife in the heart of South America.”

Thanking Uruguay for its recent political statements supporting Argentina’s claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands; Timerman said that; ” This is a battle that we have carried out since the year 1833 when we were robbed.” In a reference to next years 30th anniversary of Argentina’s attempt to take the islands by force, and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the Foreign Minister called for solidarity.

2012 will see some 30th anniversary memorials to the 1982 War although not on the scale of those recognising the 25th anniversary. Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating the 60 years since her coronation next year, and all the Royal Family are abroad visiting every Overseas Territory, including the Falkland Islands. Added to Prince Williams deployment there in March, the Islands will have two Royal visits in 2012.

Argentina regularly protests all Royals visiting the Falklands, the claim to which the country restated in the 1940’s, after 90 years of near silence. Britain’s sovereignty over the archipelago stretches back to 1765, when what is now Argentina was still a colony of Spain. Spain did not give up her own claim to East Falkland until 1863. Britain re-established control over all the Islands in 1833.

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