Commemorates Falklands War
Commemorations were held in Argentina and the United Kingdom yesterday, thirty years after the Falklands War (the Argentines call the islands Las Malvinas).
Argentine president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, attended commemorations and described the retention of the Falklands by the British as “an injustice that in the 20th Century colonial enclaves like the one we have got a few kilometers away continue to exist”.
David Cameron, the UK prime minister stated that he was “staunchly committed to upholding the rights of the Falkland islanders, and of the Falkland islanders alone, to determine their own future”.
At the United Nations the head of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) handed a letter to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in support of Argentina.
In recent weeks Argentina has attempted to increase the isolation of the islanders and the UK with a series of trade restrictions. In addition to telling larger companies not to trade with British companies, last week the Argentine embassy in the United kingdom sent a letter to banks saying that they would face legal cases against them if they continued to fund oil exploration companies working in the coastal areas of the Falkland Islands.
With little spending on the armed forces in the last thirty years, most analysts say that the Argentines do not have the resources to man another invasion of the islands. Equally, although invited, no South American heads of state attended the commemorations. This is being read as an indication that whilst South American countries are prepared to support the Argentine’s claims, they will not allow it to escalate into a trade war with the United Kingdom or Europe.
Many analysts are pointing to poor economic figures as the real reason for the increased Argentine rhetoric. It could be that President Kirchner is following the line taken by her husband and former president who died in 2010 and who was adamant that the Falklands should be under Argentine control. Equally, it could be that Argentina would like a share of the oil reserves which are said to lie underneath Falkland waters.