Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Argentina's Cristina Fernández continues to elevate the Malvinas/Falklands issue

Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner took another step on Tuesday to elevate the visibility of Argentina's claim against British occupation of the Malvinas Islands, which Britain calls the Falkland Islands. She will attend a meeting of UN officials to press Argentina's claims to the Malvinas. This is a Spanish news report from TV Publica Argentina, Cristina reclamará por Malvinas en la ONU 06/13/2012:

Martín Granovsky reports for Página 12, Malvinas calientes 06/13/2012, on Cristina's latest move. She made the announcement on the anniversary date of the Argentine surrender to Britain in 1982 in the Malvinas/Falklands War. Normally, Argentina's UN Ambassador makes the anniversary speech to the UN group, but this time the President will come to the UN to do so. See also: David Usborne, Cristina Fernandez takes fight for Falklands to UN Independent 06/11/2012.

David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal coalition government in London also announced the mischievous move of holding a referendum among the inhabitants of the islands next year. This is a British colonial trick: occupy and territory, people it with Brits, limit immigration from the previous sovereign, and then demand "self-determination" by holding a plebiscite among the Brits occupying the place. They make a similar claim over Gibraltar, which Spain justifiably claims. International law does not recognize a right of national self-determination for one locality within a nation. The UN recognizes both the Malvinas and Gibraltar as colonies whose colonial status needs to be ended.

Britain took over the islands in 1833. But now, with the discovery of large oil deposits in the territorial waters around the islands, the economic stakes have escalated.

Patrick Wintour reports on Cameron's democratic pretensions over the Falklands: David Cameron defends islanders over planned referendum Guardian 06/12/2012. Cameron said, "We look to all UN members to live up to their responsibilities under the UN charter and accept the islanders' decision about how they want to live."

And Wintour notes:

The referendum is a calculated response to the decision of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Argentinian prime minister, to go to the UN this week to meet mid-ranking UN officials to discuss colonialism. She is scheduled to travel to the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where she will try to put the Falkland Islands on to the agenda alongside Syria, Iran and the euro.
David Usborne reports:

Ms Fernandez is also expected to stage a press conference outlining her claim that Britain is using the Falklands as a base to "militarise" the whole of the South Atlantic and thereby target Argentina and other regional countries – an allegation that the British Ambassador to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, has gladly called "rubbish".

As it presses the issue of the Falklands, the Argentine government has found some support in recent months from neighbours in Latin America. Recent actions have included barriers to British shipping in the region and last week Argentina accused five British oil and gas companies of illegally exploring waters around the Falklands, known to Argentina as Las Malvinas.
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