Argentina calls planned Falklands referendum a ‘parody’

3 Sep

Apparently disturbed by news of the referendum being held in the Falkland Islands next year, Argentina’s Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli attacked the idea, calling it; “a parody that lacks creativity and imagination. If you ask any English citizens if they’d like to continue being English or not they will most probably answer yes. So, as I see it, that referendum lacks of any creativity. Same thing if I ask Argentines whether they like to remain Argentines or not. I’m sure close to 100 percent will say “yes”.”

The Falkland Islands government said recently that it hopes a referendum will send a firm message to Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that the islanders want to remain British. A plebiscite of this type is one of the ways approved by the United Nations, in which a people can declare their idea of self-determination.

Gavin Short, chairman of the Islands Legislative Assembly, said: “We are holding this referendum not because we have any doubts about who we are and what future we want, but to show the world just how certain we are about it. I have no doubt that the people of the Falklands wish for the islands to remain a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. We certainly have no desire to be ruled by the government in Buenos Aires, a fact that is immediately obvious to anyone who has visited the islands and heard our views. But we are aware that not everybody is able to come to these beautiful islands and to see this reality for themselves. The Argentine government deploys misleading rhetoric that wrongly implies that we have no strong views or even that we are being held hostage by the UK military. This is simply absurd.”

The Falkland Islands have been claimed by Britain since 1765 and many families there can trace their ancestors back more than 7 generations. Argentina only staked its own claim in 1829.

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33 Responses to “Argentina calls planned Falklands referendum a ‘parody’”

  1. Philip Foster September 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    Well logically speaking, if the Argentines are right that the Falkland Islanders are being held hostage then it can be in no way obvious what the outcome of this referendum will be, So long as it is overseen by impartial observers recognised by the UN then it will at the very least demonstrate that they are what they are by their own free will. The fact that Argentina will ignore this and carry on with their ridiculous claim regardless will only show their own contempt for the islanders, the British, the UN, for international law and the reality of the situation.

  2. Don Alberto September 4, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    From an Argentine viewpoint democracy as e.g. a referendum is “a parody that lacks creativity and imagination”.

    To have a true and creative democracy, one must buy votes and the ballot boxes must be rigged, as demonstrated by Argentina’s history.

    If Argentina were to assume sovereignity over the islands, they would become a TRUE colony, as the inhabitants are British who do not want to become governed by Argentina.

    If the Falkland Islands were to become an independent state, we can expect Argentina to – within a short space of time – attack them as in 1982 and to disregard any binding UN Security Council resolution, which ”demands an immediate withdrawal of all Argentine forces from the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)” as they did with the BINDING Security Council resolution no. 502 of 3rd April 1982.

  3. CLopez September 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    “Argentina only staked its own claim in 1829” >> BULLS**T.
    1810, 1820, 1823, all those years have significant events that shows how Argentina considered the Malvinas as part of their territory. And you know it.

    Don Alberto, a colony is ruled by an administering power. Were the Falklands to be assimilated into Argentina, I’m sure it would have the same level of independence (more, actually) than a special territory like a Province or a Federal city.

    They wouldn’t have a “Governor” and members of the council hand-picked by the national power like they do now…

    • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Nothing happened in 1810. The garrison stayed loyal to Spain until recalled in 1811. Nothing happened in 1820. Nothing sufficient for a sovereignty claim. Nothing at all happened in 1823 other than a business venture involving a German, a Buenos Ayrean and an Englishman received a permission that the grantor was not entitled to give.

      I know that.

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

        Bias, anyone?

        Vernet was born German and died being rightfully and proudly Argentine. The Englishman was an alcoholic who was the main culprit for the failure of the 1824 expedition. And the permission of 1823 was granted to Pacheco (the Buenos Ayrean), not Vernet or Schofield.

      • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

        Permission that could not be granted by a Government that had no rights over the British Falkland Islands.

        I should add that the Englishman was a TB sufferer which was why he’d gone to South America in the first place. He lost most of his money in the venture and then used what he had left to drink himself into an early grave. As for blame! Well the accuser was Vernet – who tended to blame others for his failures. There is a suggestion that Vernet deliberately chose an English partner to avoid problems with the British. You’ll note that he continued to involve British men in his attempt to form a colony notably Brisbane and Parish. I have also seen it suggested that Vernet reported to Parish as a part of his deal with the British representative. It was only when BA made its public attempt to seize islands – in 1829 – that Vernet broke the deal with Parish although he still avoided British ships hunting seals around the islands. The rest, as they say, is history 🙂

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

        Not true, he had many debts before the venture. Vernet had to call for his creditors in Buenos Aires to answer for him, as they wouldn’t rent the ships for the expedition otherwise. “Vernet tended to blame others for his failures”? Are we talking about the same person? The man who backed Pacheco and pushed him forward? The one that stood 7 years of indebting and failures until he got the colony up and running?

        Yes, it’s no surprise to find British, Germans, Irish, French men in the affairs of the new-born country. Specially in those were money or education is needed. The notable fact would be an absence of them. Or the involvement of Pacheco and Areguati, who were “Criollos”.

      • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

        Yes – we are talking about the same person. Try reading his ‘Report’ to Baylies – not that Baylies ever bothered.

    • Don Alberto September 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      “… members of the council hand-picked by the national power like they do now” ????

      The Falkland Islands is a British Overseas Territory, which under the 2009 Constitution ( http://www.falklands.gov.fk/site/legco/constitution-2008.pdf ) enjoys a large degree of internal self-government, with the United Kingdom guaranteeing good government and taking responsibility for defence and foreign affairs.

      The Legislative Assembly consists of the Chief Executive, Director of Finance and the eight members, of whom five are from Stanley and three from Camp (the part of the islands outside Stanley), elected for four-year terms by universal suffrage.

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

        And the Governor?

      • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

        Which one? The one in Canada? The one in Australia? The one in New Zealand? It’s rather a long list !

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        Also: how are elected the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance? Hand-picked, by chance?

        And they are part of the Legislative Assembly, right?

      • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

        They are still a Non-Self Governing Territory with a large (and increasing) measure of self-government. Should they opt for Independence in their Referendum next year they’ll be able to fill the few remaining unelected positions themselves. Maybe they’ll keep the Governor – so many have.

        They are getting closer 🙂

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        Yes, I know the story of my country, we see ourselves born May 25th, 1810.

        Are you saying we should celebrate our independence when Spain finally accepted it? In that case, Americans shouldn’t celebrate 4th of July either…

      • lordton1955 September 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

        BA did not possess the Falklands in 1810 – they were never a part of the Viceroyalty and the garrison there remained loyal to Spain. Also I should add, that declaring for the King was hardly an act of Independence.

      • CLopez September 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

        You can think what you like, but you should come over here a 25th of May and see it for yourself. We traditionally have empanadas and locro for lunch, to celebrate our birthday.

      • Don Alberto September 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

        CLopez: “Yes, I know the story of my country, we see ourselves born May 25th, 1810.”

        I suddenly realised, that this spells bad news for you; my condolences.

        In that case Argentina cannot possibly claim ‘uti possidetis juris’ (as you possess under law) to the Falkland Islands, because:

        1. the Spanish troops loyal to the crown stayed on the islands until 13 February 1811.

        2. the islands belonged to Spain ‘de juris’ until ‘Tratado de Reconocimiento, Paz y Amistad Firmado por la Confederación Argentina con S.M. la Reina de España’, was signed in Madrid, 9 de Julio de 1859.

        In that case Argentina would only be able to claim the Falkland Islands under ‘uti possidetis, ita possideatis’ = ‘who owns by fact, owns by right’, same as Britain can, but in Britain’s case the ‘by fact’ claim is based on de facto possession for more than 179 years.

    • Don Alberto September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      “… 1810, 1820, 1823, all those years have significant events that shows how Argentina considered the Malvinas as part of their territory”

      Argentina didn’t exist, not in 1810, nor in 1820 or 1823. Don’t you know the history of your own country?

      You DO know that 1810-1816 it was “La Junta Provisional Gubernativa de las Provincias del Rio de la Plata á nombre del Sr. Don Fernando VII”, don’t you?

      – and that not until 1816 did the Congress declare the independence of las ‘Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata’?

      What later (1831) became the loose Confederación Argentina, was raged by civil wars between the warlords (caudillos) of the three parties (unitaristas, federalistas and Buenos Aires federalistas), so Argentina did not have any constitutional and legal governments until until the battle of Pavón in 1869 (one may even set 1880 as the year of the first legal government, when Buenos Aires Governor Carlos Tejedor’s insurrection ended).

      El período de las guerras civiles argentinas se extendió desde 1814 hasta 1880. La ambición de los caudillos provinciales era la principal causa de las guerras civiles.

      The two factions ‘Liga de los Pueblos Libres’ and ‘Congreso de Tucumán’ (1814) had great fun fighting each other.

      The first constitution of 1819 was a failure, which never came into force, as it was rejected by all other provinces than Buenos Aires. The 1st Battle of Cepeda (1820) resulted in the end of any kind of centralized national authority.

      A new attempt to create a centralist constitution was enacted in 1826 and Bernardino Rivadavia was appointed the first President of Argentina. That was rejected by the provinces, forcing Rivadavia to resign and the 1826-constitution was repealed. The new governor of Buenos Aires, Manuel Dorrego (1827-1828), was deposed and executed (1828) by General Juan Galo de Lavalle.

      Ther German Elias Luis Vernet received his “authority” during the the “Revolutionary Government” of Juan Lavalle, who usurped the governorship of Buenos Aires 01 December 1828 (through 26 June 1829). Lavalle “executed” (when not according to law and even without a trial it is called murder) the incumbent governor of Buenos Aires, Manuel Dorrego, on 13 December 1828.

      10 June 1829 the unconstitutional, illegal and murderous “government” of the Province of Buenos Aires announced Vernet the “Political and Military Commander of the Malvinas”.

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        Yes, I know the story of my country, we see ourselves born May 25th, 1810.

        Are you saying we should celebrate our independence when Spain finally accepted it? In that case, Americans shouldn’t celebrate 4th of July either…

      • Hin Duong September 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

        What a dumb arse you are CLopez. You know nothing so do stop claiming otherwise.

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

        Also: do you realize that you’re calling “unconstitutional” a government that existed prior to the Argentine Constitution? Let alone universal suffrage…

        Your brief review of Argentine history only serves to stress how Britain saw the opportunity and took it… a cowardly action, not an heroic one.

      • CLopez September 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

        Hin, what’s the matter? Are you nervous?

      • Don Alberto September 4, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

        Armenian Churches celebrate Christmas on 6 January. Whatever you feel about 25 May 1810: facts are facts.

        Argentina” (i.e. ‘Las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata’) did not declare independence from Spain until 9 July 1816, which is why that day is called ‘El Día de la Independencia’.

        From that date the landarea was independent, but what today is Argentina was split in several fractions, which can be compared to the several ‘länder’ in what became Germany in 1866, when Bismarck had fought a series of wars that united the German states except for Austria in ‘Norddeutscher Bund’.

        Spain did not accept Argentina’s independence until 9 July 1859, when the first “Tratado de Reconocimiento, Paz y Amistad Firmado por la Confederación Argentina con S.M. la Reina de España” was signed in Madrid.

        I know Argentina celebrated the Bicentenario in 2010 – I was there – and my well educated friends shook their heads and said it was as stupid as when they celebrated the new millennium 1 January 2000 – first year in the calendar was year 1, not 0, so the new millennium started 1 January 2001.

      • Don Alberto September 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

        A government that existed prior to the Argentine Constitution?

        There was not one government, there were several, all self-proclaimed, either in a single province or in a groups of provinces, which is why the civil wars raged for decades.

        Let’s see:

        1. War between the Supreme Director of the United Provinces and José Artigas’ League of the Free Peoples (1814 — 1820)

        2. Battle of Cepeda (1820)

        3. Conflicts with La Rioja leader Facundo Quiroga (1826 — 1835)

        4. Federalist war against the Unitarian League (1831)

        5. Revolution of the Restorers against Buenos Aires Governor Juan Ramón Balcarce (1833)

        6. Conflicts with La Rioja leader Chacho Peñaloza (1835 — 1845; 1860 — 1863)

        7. Free Men of the South revolt, quelled at Chascomús in 1839

        8. Pedro Ferré’s Corrientes revolt (1839 — 1842)

        9. War with the Northern Coalition (1840 — 1841)

        10. Revolt by Juan Lavalle against Juan Manuel de Rosas (1841)

        11. Defeat of Unitarian forces in Corrientes (1841)

        12. Joaquín Madariaga’s Corrientes revolt (1843 — 1847)

        13. Battle of Vuelta de Obligado (1845)

        14. Entre Ríos leader Justo José de Urquiza’s break with Rosas (1851)

        15. Battle of Caseros (1852)

        16. Revolution of September 11, 1852, creating State of Buenos Aires

        17. Siege of Buenos Aires (1853)

        18. Battle of Cepeda (1859)

        A united Argentina with one government?

      • Hin Duong September 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

        Yes I am, nervous that is. Nervous you might actually make a point worth making & that the pointing at & laughing will come to an end. Not just yet though eh.

      • Don Alberto September 6, 2012 at 7:38 am #

        Temper, temper, CLopez!

        “Your brief review of Argentine history only serves to stress how Britain saw the opportunity and took it… a cowardly action, not an heroic one.”

        Employ a decent language or we shall have to wash your mouth with soap.

        The very existence of Argentina only serves to stress how the Argentinos saw the opportunity and took it…

        All of Spanish America, present day Argentina included, belonged to Spain on, say, 24 May 1810.

        How did that change?

        As far as I am informed, on 24 May 1810 Spain was in dire straits, as in 1808 Spain was attacked by France and the French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration. La ‘Guerra de la Independencia Española’ lasted until 1814.

        People in ‘Virreinato del Río de la Plata’, among other territories, saw the opportunity and usurped the land from the rightful owner, the Spanish crown – not a gentlemanly act at a time when Spain was occupied and in a helpless condition.

        (Usurpers (lat. usurpare = to seize for use, make use of, to use): ‘to assume unlawfully’. Describes illegitimate and controversial claimants to power.)

      • Hin Duong September 7, 2012 at 4:30 am #

        Useful contribution? You first Lopez & I’ll follow suit.. @Don, got what I asked for, what’s that then? A poor retort? Yeah, I suppose I did.

    • Don Alberto September 6, 2012 at 1:07 am #

      Dear CLopez,

      El ‘Día de la Revolución de Mayo’ on 25 May (since 1810) is an annual holiday to celebrate la ‘Revolución de Mayo’, but not to celebrate indedependence.

      I spent several years in Argentina (where I was called ‘Don Alberto’, although it actually should have been ‘Don Juan Alberto’), and have taken part in several of 25 May celebrations, but asado, empanadas, locro criollo, pollo en disco, mateado, etc. don’t change the fact, that ‘Las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata’ did not declare independence from Spain until 9 July 1816, which is why that day is called ‘El Día de la Independencia’.

      The Second Triumvirate (1812) called for the Assembly of year XIII (1813). The assembly was meant to declare independence and write a constitution. It didn’t and the Triumvirate was instead replaced by ‘Supreme Director’.

      Later the Congress of Tucumán was called in. It assembled in the house of Francisca Bazán de Laguna and finally declared independence from Spain or any other foreign power 9 July 1816.

      The text of “Acta de la Declaración de la Independencia Argentina 9 de julio de 1816” can be found here: http://www.me.gov.ar/efeme/9dejulio/acta.html
      and a photo of the original print in Español and Quechua here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Acta_Independencia_argentina_quechua.jpg

      • CLopez September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

        You’re correct in everything except for the assumption that by 1810 we were still a Spanish colony. You have your right to contest that, but you have to agree (specially having lived in Argentina) that that’s not the way we see it, and that applies to several Latin American countries with respect to their own “revolution” (as opposed to declarations of independence).

        And BTW, I believe I am using a decent language… except perhaps when I addressed Hin, but that’s because he’s just teasing me, without any useful contribution.

      • Don Alberto September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

        Querido CLopez,

        by “decent language” I was refering to your expression “cowardly action” but forgot to add a couple of 😀 😀 after “soap”.

        As for your answer to Hin Duong, he got what he asked for, that wasn’t bad language.

        “that that’s not the way we see it” – no, you celebrate independence and claim the Falklands Islands without the slightest consideration for facts, don’t you 🙂

        Un abrazo

      • CLopez September 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

        Well, I admit I am being rude, but using a decent language still 😉

  4. I pity the fools September 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Entertaining though it is….one observation I’d like to make.

    Despite each side stating the facts:
    The most obvious one being….The Falklands have been British since before Argentina existed.

    It’s just an argentine mindset….it’s ingrained into the youth as they grow up.

    A good friend of mine is Agrentian, we never disagree (argue) on anything except…The Falklands.

    Even though he is aware of the facts/truth (that they were British long before 1810,1816,1859 etc) his answer is…..”that’s the way I feel” – as in he still thinks they are Argentine…..its what he learnt at school and from his granddad.

    So even with the facts as plain and simple as they are, he won’t admit (openly) that the islands are British. That’s probably the same for many more Argentians.

    • Don Alberto September 17, 2012 at 3:07 am #

      Argentina has no doubt about its sovereignty rights over the Faeroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Fair Isle, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Cap Verde Islands, the canary Islands, Tenerife, Funchal, St. Helena and Africa – they are in the same ocean as Argentina, aren’t they?

      Argentina also has no doubt about its sovereignty rights over France – Buenos Aires is called the Paris of South America, and Paris is the capital of France.

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