Argentina calls for Falklands Reconciliation with half-truths and veiled threats

14 Jun

Alicia Castro, Argentina’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, today issued a statement on the 30th anniversary of her country’s defeat in the 1982 Falklands War, and on the day that her President, Cristina Fernandez, will stand before the United Nations Decolonization Committee to renew her accusations against the UK.

Half-truths and a veiled threat.

In her message, Castro repeats the Argentine claim that the sovereignty dispute over the Falkland Islands goes back 179 years to 1833, when a British force ousted an Argentine Garrison which had established itself on East Falkland in the last few months of 1832.

This is only half-true of course.

Castro fails to mention that Britain had disputed sovereignty with Spain since the first British claim of 1765, or that Spain maintained its own claim until 1863 when it recognised British sovereignty.

She also fails to mention that Argentina, which didn’t exist before 1816, was warned in 1829 that the archipelago was claimed by Britain, and that they should not presume any authority over the islands. Buenos Aires ignored the warning, made no counter-protest, but sent an armed force to gain control. It was asked to leave in January 1833 and wisely chose to do so with no loss of life.

Castro then distances herself from the Military Junta which started the Falklands War in 1982, during which nearly 1000 young men lost their lives, making no reference to the crowds in the Plaza de Mayo or her countrymen dancing in the streets when the invasion was announced.

The Ambassador goes on to claim that the United Nations has urged that the UK negotiate with Argentina over the Falklands, but again fails to mention that the last call was in 1988 following which diplomatic relations were restored; that there have been no General Assembly Resolutions calling for negotiations since that time; or that Resolution 2065, which recognised a dispute, was stabbed in the back in 1982. It died of its wounds.

Castro then dismisses out of hand, what has been described by the UN, and its court, as a “fundamental human right”, which is that of a people to determine their own future. To suggest with weasel words that this right does not belong to a people with families that go back 9 generations is not just a half-truth, it is a damned lie.

To then go on to claim that Argentina has the interests of the Falklanders at their hearts is at best disingenuous, at worst a fraud.

Peace and reconciliation are possible. All that has to happen is that Argentina needs to do what it signed up to do when it inked the UN Charter in 1945; recognise the Falklanders’ right to a peaceful existence, and to decide their future for themselves.

Alicia Casto ends with a veiled threat, which is that if the UK wishes to have a good relationship with Argentina and its neighbours then it should make a political gesture, presumably to sell the Falkland Islanders down the river.

Other gestures may be more appropriate.

The full article as published in the Independent newspaper is here:

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the war in the South Atlantic, but the sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the UK goes back 179 years. It dates from the time that Great Britain – in much the same way it invaded Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807 without success – invaded and took the Malvinas by force in 1833. In this lengthy historical process, the events of 1982 are the most regrettable. The military junta that ruled Argentina at the time abandoned negotiations and started a war as a vile attempt to win people’s favour and cling to power. Nowadays, a democratic Argentina repudiates the war and prosecutes those responsible for the crimes committed.

Today, our President attends the meeting of the UN Decolonisation Committee, the body that specifically deals with 16 pending colonial situations, including the “Malvinas/Falkland Question”. The international community – through the UN and other multilateral fora – has urged both countries to resume negotiations. So this is what my country asks: that the UK enters into negotiations with us over the future of the islands.

Britain’s excuses for not negotiating are unfounded. They cannot hide behind the so-called self-determination of the islanders when no UN resolution has recognised such a right, unlike cases in which the principle is applicable in the context of decolonisation. This is a special case that involves a colonial territory, not a colonised population; its inhabitants are not the original people of the islands. It is a population installed by Britain after 1833. There are only 1,339 inhabitants who were born in the islands. And more than 1,500 soldiers. Is it rational that the “wishes” of this population obstruct the relations and understanding between two countries and two regions?

We are committed to respecting the islanders’ interests and way of life. They are British and proud to be so; we respect their Britishness and identity. We are willing to offer safeguards to preserve their way of life. It is in their own interest to improve links with mainland Argentina. Geography and common sense dictate the need for negotiation.

Latin America has expressed as a single voice in support of Argentina’s claim. If the UK wishes to build a stronger relation with our region, it has to make a political gesture and listen to the calls for negotiation by the international community.

The trauma left by the conflict on both countries requires a solution by a genuine reconciliation. The only victory that can ever be celebrated will be that on the day when our respective nations sit down at the negotiation table to the benefit of peoples of both parties. War should not be celebrated. The only way of honouring the fallen from both sides is to strive for peace and reconciliation.”


28 Responses to “Argentina calls for Falklands Reconciliation with half-truths and veiled threats”

  1. Diego Noriega-Noriega June 14, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Happy Liberation Day Falklanders!!

    Remember, like Confucius used to say ‘Never trust an Argentine’

    • Baguamarsbar July 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm #


  2. The Oncoming Storm June 14, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Yes indeed Happy Liberation Day Falklands!!

    God this woman is a complete moron!

  3. Ken Summers June 14, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I read your response to Ambassador Castro with some sadness.
    Your tone shows a lack of respect for the people of Argentina, who do acknowledge the rights of the Islanders, and genuinely want a peaceful solution to the issue.
    The rights and wrongs of the dispute have been voiced many times and will continue until that solution can be found. A start would be a real dialogue between the Islanders and Argentina.
    The Ambassador makes no veiled threats, she just states common sense, but what does “Other gestures may be more appropriate mean”?
    Hopefully both “sides” will be debated before the referendum.

    • lordton1955 June 14, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      And I am sad that Argentina treats the rights of the Falkland Islanders in such a cavalier manner. And you are wrong, Argentina does not acknowledge the rights of the Islanders, on the contrary it very publicly rejects those rights, as does Alicia Castro in her message.

      I have no respect for any Government that is prepared to heckle and bully a tiny neighbour.

      The referendum is something of a foregone conclusion. Argentina conducted its own poll a few years ago. More than 90% of the Islanders rejected any overtures by their banana Republic of a neighbour.

      As for gestures, on Falklands Liberation Day I suggest we start with the Victory salute, quickly followed with the one from Agincourt.

      • Ken Summers June 14, 2012 at 10:22 am #

        You are really calling Argentina a Banana Republic?
        Great Britain is not a tiny neighbour, and its seems the only way to get a response is the heckling to which you refer!
        Yes let’s remember Agincourt. It’s in France now you know!
        Who knows in a few hundred years…?

      • lordton1955 June 14, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        In a few hundred years, Agincourt will still be in France.

        And there’s a good chance that the Falklands will still be British!

      • Ken Summers June 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

        In 1415 [I had to look that up] Henry V of England claimed that part of France as his.
        It seems we Brits have a bit of history of this! Anyway, as I say it is now French [the Frog Republic?]. It makes sense really.
        Please read what the Ambassador has written again. There is little room for misunderstanding, unless of course you don’t believe her!

      • lordton1955 June 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        I’ve read it. Her refusal to recognise the Falklanders’ right to self-determination is very plain.

        Her view of history is at best, inaccurate, mistaken, confused. Of course, the reality is that her view of history is a distortion!

        There is really nothing to negotiate. Negotiations took place between 1966 and 1982. Argentina stabbed the UN GA resolutions in the back with its invasion.

        There is indeed, no misunderstanding!

      • Ken Summers June 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

        You don’t believe “We are committed to respecting the islanders’ interests and way of life. They are British and proud to be so; we respect their Britishness and identity. We are willing to offer safeguards to preserve their way of life.” then?
        I despair of there ever being a resolution that will satisfy everyone.
        I’ll let you have the last word!

      • lordton1955 June 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        I do not believe.

        Preserving their way of life?? Bloody cheek!

        It’s their way of life. They’ll preserve it themselves !

        Argentina has no claim. Argentina has never had a claim. No resolution is necessary!

        And I always have the last word 🙂

    • Don Alberto June 15, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      My dear Ken Summers,

      a solution was reached in 1850, confirmed by the Argentine vice president in 1866 and once more by the Argentine president in 1869.

      • Ken Summers June 15, 2012 at 8:46 am #

        Ha ha! you’ve had the last word twice now!
        Anyway, I think last night’s debate yielded a couple of interesting points.
        Unless I misheard, my namesake [no relation] offered to sit and listen to Argentina!
        And Christina acknowledged that Argentina don’t expect just to be told they are right!
        What do you think?

      • lordton1955 June 15, 2012 at 8:50 am #

        Cristina is not prepared to sit down and listen to the Islanders. And she cannot accept anything but a full handover, whatever she tells the C24. It’s in her country’s Constitution. So no, I do not think that they are really just prepared to talk. The suggestion that they are is just for press consumption. And they know that Britain cannot talk anyway, not without the approval of the Islanders. It’s been that way since the late 1960’s.

        Can I suggest that you check out the HistoryTimeline – it’s all there.

      • Ken Summers June 15, 2012 at 8:59 am #

        Yes I’m reading it now. Last showed there wasn’t just one version though!
        ok dismiss what Christina said, the offer from Mike Summers is there. He is, is he not an Islander. Self governing but happy to enjoy the protection and support of GB.
        If this offer is genuine and not taken up, that seriously undermines the Argentine case.
        I wouldn’t set too much store by the constitution, we don’t even have one and seem to get along quite alright. Anyway what can be written in can be written out, or amended.

      • lordton1955 June 15, 2012 at 9:05 am #

        The main problem with a written Constitution is that its written down and cannot be ignore. It’s inflexible and that’s why the U.S. has so many amendments. Amendments require negotiation. It would be political suicide in Argentina to take that one out.

        The unwritten British Constitution does not suffer from that flaw, allowing the flexibility that Countries like Argentina does not have.

        The Islands are not yet fully self-governing which would require independence. They are not yet ready for that, and are unlikely to be with such a belligerent neighbour.

        Most of this is just politiking – and it’s been going on every year since the C24 was set up – 51 years ago:-)

      • Ken Summers June 15, 2012 at 9:23 am #

        You’ve got to admire their stick at it quality!
        Not necessarily the suicide you suspect. Although a popular dream, not everyone is as bothered as you think.
        Anyway lets live in hope that one day it will be resolved [I know it already is from the Islanders point of view, but it makes sense to be on good terms with the neighbours].
        Back to you for your last word.

      • Don Alberto June 15, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

        Constitution of the Argentine Nation (official version in English )

        First.- The Argentine Nation ratifies its legitimate and non-prescribing sovereignty over the Malvinas, Georgias del Sur and Sandwich del Sur Islands and over the corresponding maritime and insular zones, as they are an integral part of the National territory.
        The recovery of said territories and the full exercise of sovereignty, respectful of the way of life of their inhabitants and according to the principles of international law, are a permanent and unrelinquished goal of the Argentine people.

        Not easy to deny.

      • Don Alberto June 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

        Argentine text ( ):

        Disposiciones transitorias

        Primera: La Nación Argentina ratifica su legítima e imprescriptible soberanía sobre las Islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur y los espacios marítimos e insulares correspondientes, por ser parte integrante del territorio nacional.

        La recuperación de dichos territorios y el ejercicio pleno de la soberanía, respetando el modo de vida de sus habitantes, y conforme a los principios del derecho internacional, constituyen un objetivo permanente e irrenunciable del pueblo argentino.

  4. Phil Foster June 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    But more likely independent. Argentina are not bullying the UK. They are bullying the Falkland Islanders. The UK provide a simple barrier between the Falklands and Argentine aggression. Argentina has a history of belligerence and bullying against the Falkland Islands. Even the USA would not try to embargo food going to Cuba but Argentina would happily embargo food going to the Falkland Islands. Since when was attempting the forced starvation on a tiny neighbour conciliatory and peaceful?

  5. LINCOLN ARIEL June 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    ver ests enlace sobre lo que Inglaterra hizo con los acadianos en 1755 , cualquier similitud con lo que hicieron en malvinas en 1833 no es casualidad,

    • Don Alberto June 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

      I have to repeat:

      a solution was reached in 1850, confirmed by the Argentine vice president in 1866 and once more by the Argentine president in 1869.

      link above.

      • lordton1955 June 16, 2012 at 12:29 am #

        I agree that the matter was concluded in 1850. What are you refering to in 1866 and 1869?

      • Don Alberto June 16, 2012 at 1:20 am #

        You will find it in my previous post:

        Vice-president Marcos Paz’s opening speach to the Argentine Congress on 1 May 1866 “… damages suffered by English subjects in 1845. This question, which is the only one between us and the British nation …” and president Domingo F. Sarmiento’s Message to the Argentine Congress on 1 May 1869 “Nothing is claimed from us by other nations; we have nothing to ask of them except that they will persevere in manifesting their sympathies …”. Exact references to both Argentine and British versions are given.

      • lordton1955 June 16, 2012 at 1:45 am #

        Thankyou. I have those, but I’m ever hopeful that something new will pop up 🙂

    • Don Alberto June 18, 2012 at 1:09 am #

      That reminds me – do you also know this 1860 map of Argentina, Patagonia and Chile, showing the Falkland Islands in a colour different from Agentina?

    • Baguamarsbar July 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      por favor hable inglés

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