In a response to the booklet published this week by a group of notable Argentine academics, historians and journalists, calling for a re-think of Argentina’s policy of attacking the Falkland Islands, economically and diplomatically, the official News Agency published the following.
Télam. National News Agency of Argentina. Feb. 23, 2012.
When we notice the “anguish” that affects “some intellectuals” regarding the Argentine claim of sovereignty on the Malvinas islands, we are the ones actually anguished. Because, what is expected from a democratic Government forced by history and law to claim a portion of its territory that was usurped? Is the option only silence or war?
Is the demand renewed by Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman before his G-20 colleagues in México only an irrational brag or a malicious provocation?
Perhaps we should limit ourselves to the submission recommended by historian Luis A. Romero, who wants to “wait” until the inhabitants of the islands change their minds and accept to become Argentines or share journalist José Eliaschev´s claim to “respect the rights of the islanders”, as though somebody had ever called for their eviction or the seizure of their properties.
The concern of this group of citizens, some of them with respectable background, should instead be compared to the attitude of other intellectuals, that long ago, although they disagreed with the Governments of their time, never dared to cast suspicion on the diplomatic claims of their country.
At the beginning of last century, Frenchman Paul Groussac (for many years Director of the National Library) wrote a book, Les Isles Malouines, translated into Spanish by a law passed by Congress in 1934, due to a project presented by the then Socialist Senator Alfredo Palacios. The legislator argued that “all Argentines should know that the Malvinas Islands belong to Argentina and that Great Britain, without any right of sovereignty, appropriated them”.
Groussac was a foreigner deeply identified with the Argentine culture. Palacios was a Socialist internationalist fully devoted to his country, but none of them could ever be identified with the “Nationalistic chauvinism” that so much concerns lawyer Daniel Sabsay.
Palacios wrote in the thirties a book that should be read by those who now claim that “we cannot impose on the islanders a nationality or a sovereignty they do not want”.
The famed Socialist leader held then that “Argentina’s rights on the Malvinas are undeniable. If our great goal is justice, we should stand firm before the power that is in possession of Argentine territory because we represent and defend the cause and the interests of human beings, against that universal power imposed through an unjust force. We who always rejected the right of conquest, should protest against the injustice of this stripping”.
Some of those who now are critical of our Government for taking our claim before the international forums, should bear in mind Palacios´ recommendation to the young generations of Argentines: “never to forget that in our motherland there is still an unredeemed territory”.