Reported by the South Atlantic Remote Territories News Agency today.
US Representative Frank James Sensenbrenner Jr., and his aide, Mr Todd Washam, are visiting the Falkland Islands this week to find out for themselves how the place operates and what the people think about their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter. The Congressman is the first member of the House of Representatives to visit the Falkland Islands officially.
Addressing the Islands’ Legislative Assembly on Thursday, Congressman Sensenbrenner said that the Islands did not fit the stereotype of a remote back-water, that he had held prior to his arrival. What he found was a vibrant, economically self-sufficient community with a democratic government having the remit in all areas except foreign affairs and defence. He added that the United States had always supported the principle of self-determination. “We let the British Crown know that about 230 years ago,” he quipped. “We haven’t changed our viewpoint that the people should be allowed to direct their own government, choose the system of government and make whatever alliances and determinations that are necessary.”
“I have talked with a lot of people in the Falkland Islands and not one of them would like to change their status and become a colony of Argentina,” he said, before going on to add that the United Nations would have to back up the decisions the Falkland Islanders have made themselves, rather than getting itself involved in a geo-political game.
Mentioning the Governor of the Falklands, Congressman Sensenbrenner said that it was important to make the point that he is NOT a colonial Governor but a Governor of a British Overseas Territory. “There is a big difference between the two,” he said.