José Mujica, the President of Uruguay, yesterday reaffirmed his country’s support for Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands but not to the detriment of the Islanders themselves. Speaking at a celebration of Argentina’s May ‘Revolution’ he referred to South America’s common traditions and language, but added; “We must be together, not to crush anyone, not to crush the Falkland Islands people, but to rebuild ..”
He also joked that the Falklands, from an historical perspective, could be; ” .. a little bit Uruguayan”
On the same day the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, visited the National Memorial in Staffordshire and paid tribute to those who died in the Falklands War in 1982; “I wish I could have been here at the weekend when the commemoration was opened but I was at the NATO summit in America. I wanted to come as soon as I could because I think the National Memorial Arboretum is an excellent place to remember those who fell in various conflicts. Obviously on the 30th anniversary of the successful liberation of the Falklands it’s right to remember the 255 people who gave their lives so that the people of the Falkland Islands could live in peace and in freedom.”
Referring to the current situation in the South Atlantic, the Prime Minister added; “They have this guarantee – that as long as the people of the Falkland Islands want to continue with their current status as a British Overseas Territory, then they will be able to do so. We will back them, we will support them, we will defend them. We have the Falkland Islands properly defended for a very simple reason – we believe in self-determination, the right of people in the Falkland Islands to determine their future. I think it’s important on this, the 30th anniversary, to reaffirm that and to tell people in the Falkland Islands they have our backing, they have our support”
The Falkland Islands have been British since 1765. In May 1810 the Spanish provinces of the Rio de la Plata declared for King Ferdinand VII but refused to accept the authority of the Spanish Government appointed by Napoleon. Spain’s controlling body, the Viceroyalty, moved to Montevideo as a result and the Spanish claim to East Falkland was ruled from there for a short period.
What is now Argentina became independent in 1816, with Uruguay following later.