More bluff and bluster over Falklands

Reportedly Argentina is seeking a meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, over the Falklands Oil crisis.

The Argentinian Government has been conducting an aggressive diplomatic offensive in recent days, every bit as aggressive as their 1982 invasion. To seek to talk to the UN Secretary-General rather than put the issue before the General Assembly or Security Council is underhand. The fundamental principle of the United Nations is self-determination, the right of people to choose their own form of Government. The people of the Falkland Islands choose to be British. Until the change their minds, to agigate against their wishes is aggression.

A summit of South American leaders urged Argentina and Britain to “renew negotiations in order to find in the shortest time possible a just, peaceful and definitive solution to the dispute”. Funnily enough, it was Argentina who walked out of negotiations, only to cause a fuss now that it suits her. Argentina’s track record over the Falklands cannot be ignored, even since 1982 there has been the shadow of Argentinian threats to regain the Islands. All the time these exist, how can negotiations take place?

Brazilian President Lula da Silva, normally one of South America’s more sensible leaders, excelled himself with “What is the geographic, the political or economic explanation for England [sic] to be in Las Malvinas? Could it be because England is a permanent member of the UN’s Security Council [where] they can do everything and the others nothing?” Aside from referring to the UK as England, and showing a Janet and John level of understanding of the relationship between the UK and the Falklands, Lula’s comments have more to do with Brazil’s desire to be seen as a serious world power herself. There is a reason why the UK is a permanent member of the Security Council – aside from a few notable examples (Suez and Iraq spring to mind) the UK has by and large been a force for good in the modern world.

As I have frequently commented, the effects of Empire are all over South America. Is President Lula feeling guilty about how his Portuguese ancestors came to Brazil? The British Empire no longer exists, and the UK Government clearly has no desire to ‘hold on’ to any territory that wants independence – witness the withdrawal from Empire post-1945, and the handing back of Hong Kong in 1997. Frankly, the attempt to whitewash Britain as an Imperial power does not wash.

The sad thing is, it seems that South America’s leaders are behaving more imperialistically than Britain has for many years. The Falklands issue has found itself hijacked by the bigger issues of South American power-play.

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13 Comments

Filed under defence, Falklands War, News, politics

13 responses to “More bluff and bluster over Falklands

  1. Scott Daly

    I feel sorry for the islanders. The unescapable truth is that the vast majority of them approve of British sovereignty over the islands.

    Besides, a quarter of a century ago thousands of soldiers died over this, to dredge it all up again and risk another conflict would mean that it was all for nothing.

  2. James Daly

    One thing that occurs to me, when they took the Islands in 1982 it took months to clear up the mess that the Argentinians left behind. They might not be a military dictatorship any more, but Argentina already has a multitude of internal problems that it cannot cope with, let alone taking on the Falklands as well.

  3. Instead of dealing with their own problems, they seek an external problem to deal with to get public support.

  4. James Daly

    I think its a pretty contemptuous way to treat their own people, frankly. Sadly Jose Public fell for it in 1982, right before the invasion there were demonstrations against the Government, and then days later public celebrations by the same people in the same squares.

    If I was a Falkland Islander I would be terrified by the prospect of being ruled by such a Government.

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