Holes in Argentina’s blockade of the Falkland Islands

31 Mar

Argentina’s blockade of the Falkland Islands appeared to have holes in it a few weeks ago following Chile’s refusal to stop the regular weekly flights between it and the Falkland Islands despite Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez, making a personal appeal to her Chilean counter-part.

A further hole has now appeared with Uruguay making comparisons between Cuba and the Falkland Islands, much to the annoyance of both Cuba and Argentina. Uruguay’s position is that it disagrees with the long-standing US blockade of Cuba and therefore cannot support a similar move by its large neighbour over the Falkland Islands. While Uruguay’s official foreign policy includes traditional support for Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, it won’t stop its own citizens from doing business with the Islanders, and as a result a charter flight from Montevideo is due to take off on April 13th taking business men, and supplies, to Stanley.

Sharon Halford, a member of the Falkland Islands Government, said; “This is wonderful news. Uruguay does more than meet international law with regard to free trade.” This will be the second visit by Uruguayan businessmen to the Islands this year.

Argentina argues that it inherited the Falklands from Spain in 1816. Britain argues that it has had sovereignty over the archipelago since 1765 with only Spain disputing this with its own claim to East Falkland. Spain eventually recognised British sovereignty in 1863. Argentina’s first attempt to establish a hold on the Falklands in 1832 was met by an early British ‘Task Force’ which required the Argentine garrison to leave. They did so without a fight. Argentina showed more determination in its invasion of 1982, although once again, a British Task Force required them to leave. Nearly 1000 young men lost their lives in the process.

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