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Thread: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    South American States Ban Falklands Vessels From Ports
    December 21, 2011

    A South American trading bloc has agreed to close its ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.

    Mercosur, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, came to the decision at a summit in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo.

    But Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said British-flagged civilian ships that may supply the islands would still be allowed to use its ports.

    The Foreign Office said there was "no justification" for the action.

    The Falklands flag is flown by 25 boats, mostly fishing vessels operated in joint ventures with Spanish companies.

    The Mercosur decision is the latest in a series by Latin American regional bodies designed to show solidarity with Argentina which has long claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which it calls Las Malvinas.

    Britain has held them since the 1830s and says their future is not negotiable. The two countries fought a brief but bloody war over the islands in 1982.

    Their dispute has flared again recently. Last year, Argentina accused the UK of breaking international rules by allowing oil drilling under a seabed off the islands, located in a vast area of potentially mineral-rich South Atlantic waters.

    'Very concerned'

    Britain has also refused recent requests to re-open negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falklands.

    Uruguay proposed the move to close ports to Falklands-flagged vessels. Mr Mujica said: "We hold nothing against the UK. But we have a lot in favour of Argentina."

    He said solidarity among South America's neighbours was key to his country's foreign policy, adding: "For the moment, this means accepting that this territory is a colonial British position in our America."

    However, the president of the Falklands Chamber of Commerce, Roger Spink, told the BBC that they were a small community, and felt increasingly under blockade.

    "If we were Palestine, the European Union would be up in arms," he said.

    The Foreign Office, who called on Uruguay's ambassador in London to explain the move last week, said it was discussing the developments "urgently with countries in the region".

    A spokesman said: "We are very concerned by this latest Argentine attempt to isolate the Falkland Islands people and damage their livelihoods, for which there is no justification.

    "It is not immediately clear what practical impact, if any, this statement will have, which mirrors the language already used by the Union of South American Nations in 2010.

    "But no-one should doubt our determination to protect the Falkland Islanders' right to determine their own political future."

    Oil exploration

    The Foreign Office called on Uruguay's ambassador in London to explain the move last week.

    The chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Richard Ottaway, said the situation was "very unsatisfactory", with the ban seeming to be a breach of international law and tensions in the region escalating.

    Tory MP Patrick Mercer called the ban "needlessly provocative".

    Shadow foreign minister John Spellar said: "While this looks like a bit of a flag-waving gesture, Argentina should be in no doubt of the united determination of all parties in the United Kingdom to protect the Falkland Islanders' right to determine their own future."

    But former Foreign Office minister Denis MacShane said the "hostile action" was aimed at London, not the Falklands, and blamed the coalition for weakening Britain's international standing.

    The Labour MP said: "South American leaders know that Britain has fewer friends than ever before because of David Cameron's isolationist approach in Europe and the indifference to the Obama administration as most cabinet members are close to US neo-Cons.

    "Brazil and other countries know that thanks to Liam Fox's defence cuts, the UK no longer has aircraft carrier capability so British maritime power projection has been fatally weakened by the government."

    Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who took over the presidency of the trade bloc from Mr Mujica, thanked her fellow presidents for the show of support.

    Delivering a speech to the summit, she said: "Malvinas is not an Argentine cause, it is a global cause, because in the Malvinas they are taking our oil and fishing resources.

    "And when there is need for more resources, those who are strong are going to look for them wherever and however they can."

    British companies are exploring for oil in the waters surrounding the islands, which are 400 nautical miles from the Argentine coast.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Another war in the making.... but on the bright side, it will be short. Britain will win.
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    I hope Britain will win. They no longer have their aircraft carriers or Vulcan bombers.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Britain will throw money at the problem. You know, this is just because people aren't treated right and it's obviously a social issue...

    /snort
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Falklands Islands Protesters Burn British Flags As Tensions Rise
    January 20, 2012


    Activists burn British flags during a demonstration outside the British Embassy over the disputed Falklands Islands

    Protesters in Argentina burnt Union flags today as tensions over the Falklands Islands' future simmered over

    Riot police were called to deal with a small crowd of demonstrators outside the British embassy following on from an escalating diplomatic dispute between the two countries' governments.

    Argentina wants Britain to negotiate over the islands at the United Nations, 30 years on from the war which saw British forces drive invading troops from the islands in a brief but bloody war.

    But Prime Minister David Cameron has slammed Argentina's fresh attempts at taking over the islands as "colonialism" as most inhabitants want to remain British. Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman hit back, accusing Cameron of ignoring history.

    Before Christmas, the Mercosur trading bloc of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay banned boats from the Falklands from docking at their ports.


    Protesters hold signs that read in Spanish English get out of Malvinas (Falklands)

    The UK has refused to negotiate over the remote archipelago and is instead planning to send more military support.

    And Prince William, a search and rescue pilot with the RAF, is to be stationed there in February and March - a move which Argentina blasted as provocative.

    The UK retains a major military presence in the South Atlantic, including 1,200 troops, three Navy ships and four Typhoon attack jets.

    Frictions between the two countries intensified in 2010 when British firms discovered oil offshore in the North Falklands Basin.



    Mr Cameron said: “What the Argentinians have been saying recently, I would argue, is far more like colonialism because these people want to remain British and the Argentinians want them to do something else.”

    “It’s very important we commemorate the Falklands War in this year, the 30th anniversary, and we remember all those who served and who fought so hard and those who gave their lives and didn’t come home.

    “The absolutely vital point is that we are clear that the future of the Falkland Islands is a matter for the people themselves. As long as they want to remain part of the United Kingdom and be British, they should be able to do so.”

    Veteran Simon Weston, who was badly injured in the war, said: "I feel for the islanders, because they're the ones being constantly berated and threatened, and are constantly having their fishing fleet and supply ships harassed and impounded."

    He added: "They've got four or five South American countries to ban Falklands ships from going into their ports, if they are flying the Falklands flag - but they can still fly the English ensign, so why are we worried about it?

    "We're never going to give in to what they want, the islanders have the right to self determination."

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    From my understanding of the Islands there, this isn't about kicking the Brits out, it's about getting the tourism money.

    Cruise ships and even individual cruisers go there and spend money.
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Back Off! British Show Of Strength As Navy Sends £1 Billion Warship HMS Dauntless To The Falklands
    January 31, 2012


    Mission: Warship HMS Dauntless, one of the Royal Navy's most advanced and powerful vessels, is being sent to the Falklands, the Ministry of Defence said today

    Warship HMS Dauntless, one of the Royal Navy’s most advanced and powerful vessels, is being sent to the Falklands, the Ministry of Defence announced today.

    The deployment comes after rows between the British and Argentine government over who has the right to own the islands.

    A Royal Navy spokesman rejected suggestions the decision to send the ultra-modern destroyer to the region in March represented an escalation of the UK’s position.

    In a move that could rile Argentina further, it was announced today that a British minister will travel to the Falkland Islands in June to take part in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Britain's recapture of the islands from occupying Argentine troops.

    'I'm going to coincide with the conclusion of the Falklands war. I will be going in June for the 30th anniversary,' Jeremy Browne, the British Foreign Office minister responsible for relations with Latin America.

    Mr Browne said he hoped his week-long visit would not annoy Argentina, which has already accused Britain of acting provocatively by announcing that Prince William, second in line to the British throne, will be deployed to the islands this year as an RAF search-and-rescue helicopter pilot.

    In response to the timing of the war ship heading to the Falklands a Navy spokesperson said: 'The Royal Navy has had a continuous presence in the South Atlantic for many years.

    The deployment of HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic has been long planned, is entirely routine and replaces another ship on patrol,' he said.

    But a Royal Navy source said: 'HMS Dauntless is an elite warship. She is one of six Type 45s built for the navy as the most advanced fighting ships in the world.

    'She is going to the Falklands on a routine deployment, but the fact the navy is sending her there and not one of her older ships is significant.'

    As the 30th anniversary of the start of the Falklands conflict approaches, the diplomatic tension between Britain and Argentina, is rising.

    Argentina has recently renewed claims to what it calls Las Malvinas, and David Cameron has accused the country of 'colonialism.'

    After returning to work following a cancer scare, Argentina's president wasted little time in launching a response to the comment.

    During a speech, Cristina Fernandez said: ‘I heard they're calling us colonialist. ... One is always tempted to respond, but I think it's better to avoid it. When they say these things it's exactly because they don't have reasons or arguments.’

    In December, the Mercosur grouping of countries, which includes Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay, announced that it would ban ships sailing under the Falkland Islands flag from docking at their ports.

    Sister ship HMS Daring has already been sent to the Gulf for her first mission amid heightened tensions with Iran over threats by Tehran to block a busy shipping lane.

    Both HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless are the first of six new destroyers which will replace the Type 42 vessels which started service in the 1970s.

    With crews of 180, they are the first to be built with a futuristic design that makes it difficult to detect using radar.

    The Type 45s are armed with high-tech Sea Viper anti-air missiles and can carry 60 troops.

    They also have a large flight deck which can accommodate helicopters the size of a Chinook as well as take on board 700 people in the case of a civilian evacuation.

    Dauntless is equipped with supersonic Sea Viper missiles and an air defence system which can take out targets the size of a cricket ball moving three times the speed of sound.

    An unnamed rating on the Dauntless said: 'We are all looking forward to getting out there. It is going to be an interesting deployment to say the least.

    'In an ideal world nothing will happen but we are prepared for anything which might occur out there.'

    Admiral Lord Alan West, former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran who led HMS Ardent when she was sunk by Argentina with the loss of 22 men, said: 'The Type 45s are becoming a key part of our modern force.

    'The thing that is fascinating about them is they have got the most amazing anti-air warfare capability.

    'Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It is a game-changing capability.'

    Meanwhile former head of the Army, General Sir Mike Jackson said it would be ‘just about impossible’ to retake the Falklands if Argentina invades.

    General Sir Mike Jackson warned that defence cuts meant that the UK no longer has the capability to get the islands back if the Argentines secured the airfield.


    The issue is especially sensitive as the 30th anniversary approaches of the liberation of the islands by Britain from an Argentine invasion
    I wish we had ship names that cool...

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Mr Browne said he hoped his week-long visit would not annoy Argentina,
    "...Much..."


    LOL
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Falkland Islands: Government Rules Out Protection Law
    The government has ruled out bringing in a UK law to ensure the Falkland Islands' right to remain British.

    January 31, 2012

    Tory MP Guy Opperman said legislation would show support for the "unambiguous right to self-determination".

    But Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said existing UN rules offered protection against ongoing territorial claims made by Argentina.

    He also announced he would visit the Falklands for the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the end of the war.

    Fighting after the Argentinian invasion in 1982 led to the deaths of 649 Argentine and 255 British servicemen.

    But Argentina continues to press its claim of sovereignty over the islands in the South Atlantic.

    Tensions have increased recently, with the governments in London and Buenos Aires using stronger language.

    Last week Prime Minister David Cameron said Argentina had a "colonialist" attitude to the Falklands, which it calls the Malvinas. This was condemned by Argentina's Senate.

    'Paramount'

    On Tuesday the UK government announced that it was sending the Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless to the Falklands, describing this as a routine deployment.

    This follows the Mercosur grouping of countries, which includes Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay, announcing that it would ban ships sailing under the Falkland Islands flag from docking at member nations' ports

    Bringing a debate in Parliament's Westminster Hall, Mr Opperman, the MP for Hexham in Northumberland, condemned the actions, saying Argentina's behaviour had "no place in the 21st Century".

    He added: "I would like a self-determination law, that all territories overseas have an unambiguous right to self-determination."

    He went on: "I would say that overseas territories with a settled population have an unambiguous right to remain British and be protected from oppression unless they vote for secession."

    Mr Opperman suggested this law should cover all UK territories including Anguilla, St Helena and Pitcairn.

    He told his fellow MPs: "It would send out a strong message and signal from this country that self-determination for peoples, where they choose to remain part of Great Britain, is paramount."

    During a sometimes impassioned debate, fellow Conservative MP Bob Stewart said the Argentinian government should be told: "Keep your hands off the Falklands. They are British and they are going to remain British."

    'Sombre occasion'

    Mr Browne, a Liberal Democrat MP, said the government felt "deep disappointment" at Argentina's imposition of a "trade blockade" via the shipping restrictions.

    He added that he and colleagues had been "extraordinarily active" in protecting the islands' interests.

    However, he said the right of peoples to self-determination was enshrined in Article 1.2 of the United Nations Charter and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Falklands' own constitution.

    Mr Browne added: "So the British government already has a legal obligation to uphold both the principle, and the practical consequences, of self-determination. So we do not see the need to do additional work in this area."

    Most Falkland Islanders wish to retain British sovereignty, and 14 June is marked as Liberation Day in the capital Port Stanley.

    Mr Browne promised to visit to commemorate the 30th anniversary, adding that it would be "an important and sombre occasion".

    Britain has held the islands since the 1830s, but Argentina insists it has a prior claim.

    Washington has called on Britain and Argentina to negotiate but the UK government has said it is "not prepared to discuss the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands against the wishes of the Falkland people".

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Ok... so the folks in Falklands want to remain under British Rule. Argentina want to take over the islands (I KNOW for a fact this is because the Islands get a lot of cruisers through there).

    Well.. Screw you Argentina.
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    REFILE-UPDATE 1-Argentina condemns British "militarization" of Falklands





    Wed Feb 8, 2012 9:17am EST

    (Removes extraneous word in the first paragraph)
    * Criticises deployment of warship, Prince William's tour
    * Gov't to present formal complaint to United Nations
    * Britain denies militarizing Falklands
    BUENOS AIRES/LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Argentina's president accused Britain of "militarizing the South Atlantic" and said she would complain to the United Nations, as tension rises ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war.
    Britain, which rejected the accusation, went to war with Argentina over the British-ruled Falkland Islands in 1982. London has refused to start talks on sovereignty with Argentina unless the roughly 3,000 islanders want them.
    "They're militarizing the South Atlantic once again," President Cristina Fernandez said in a speech on Tuesday at the presidential palace, criticising the deployment of British destroyer HMS Dauntless in the area in the coming months.
    "If there's one thing we're going to preserve, besides our natural resources, is a region where peace prevails," she said, adding that the Foreign Ministry would present a formal complaint to the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly.
    She also criticized Prince William's posting as a military search-and-rescue pilot in the islands, called Las Malvinas in Spanish: "We would have liked to see him dressed as a civilian, not with a military uniform," she said.
    A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday rejected Fernandez's comments.
    "We are not militarizing the South Atlantic. Our defensive posture in the Falkland Islands remains unchanged," the spokeswoman said. The defence ministry has described the deployment of HMS Dauntless as "entirely routine".
    "The people of the Falklands choose to be British. Their right to self determination is a principle that's enshrined in the U.N. charter," she added.
    A war of words between the two governments has escalated in recent months.
    Fernandez, a fiery former senator who started her political career in the Patagonian region closest to the islands, has described Britain as a "crass colonial power in decline."
    Cameron hit back by accusing Argentina of colonialism.
    Oil exploration by British companies off the islands has raised the stakes over the sovereignty dispute.
    Three decades on, memories of the war remain painful in Argentina, where most people see the decision by Argentina to invade the islands on April 2, 1982 as a mistake by the discredited military dictatorship ruling at the time.
    Fernandez also signed a decree on Tuesday to declassify a military report that was commissioned in the aftermath of the 10-week conflict in which about 650 Argentine and 255 British troops were killed. (Reporting by Helen Popper and Magdalena Morales, additonal reporting by Mohammed Abbas in London; Editing Jon Boyle)
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Hugo Chavez Says Venezuelan Troops Would Fight With Argentina Over Falklands
    Hugo Chavez has pledged that Venezuelan armed forces would fight alongside Argentina against Britain in any future conflict over the Falkland Islands at a regional meeting this weekend.

    February 6, 2012

    The eight member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance bloc, or ALBA, met to approve an agreement barring any boats flying Falkland Islands flags from docking in their ports.

    "The issue of the Malvinas Islands is an issue that concerns us, especially with the strong language that has emerged from the British government, accusing Argentina of being colonialist," Mr Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said, calling it "the world in reverse".

    Tensions have increased to their highest level since the end of the conflict 30 years ago as the Duke of Cambridge, a Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, began a six week tour of duty in the islands. The Royal Navy also announced last week it was sending its most powerful warship, HMS Dauntless, to the South Pacific.

    "I'm speaking only for Venezuela, but if it occurs to the British Empire to attack Argentina, Argentina won't be alone this time," Mr Chavez said.

    At a regional meeting, Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, suggested the countries take stronger measures. "We have to talk about sanctions," Mr Correa said.

    William Hague told the Sky News Murnaghan programme that commemorations would go ahead to mark the 30-year anniversary of the Falklands conflict.

    He said Britain supported the islanders' self-determination and would seek to prevent Argentina from "raising the diplomatic temperature" on the issue.

    Mr Hague said: "(The events) are not so much celebrations as commemorations.

    "I think Argentina will also be holding commemorations of those who died in the conflict.

    "Since both countries will be doing that I don't think there is anything provocative about that."

    Deployments of a warship and Prince William to the Falkland Islands are "entirely routine", the Foreign Secretary said.

    Argentina has received the backing of Latin American countries for its claim of sovereignty over the remote, wind-lashed islands, which were occupied by Britain in 1833.

    The dispute erupted into warfare April 2, 1981 when Argentine troops seized the islands, only to be routed in a 74-day war that claimed the lives of 649 Argentines and 255 Britons.

    Diplomatic friction between Argentina and Britain has intensified since 2010, when the Government authorised oil exploration in the waters near the islands.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Good let them. I cant wait to see Chavez embarrasssed.
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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Y'all ready for a good laugh?

    Sean Penn Urges Negotiations Between UK And Argentina
    February 14, 2012

    Hollywood actor Sean Penn has shown his support for Argentina as tensions rise between the UK and Argentina ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war.

    After meeting Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, he urged the UK to join talks on the dispute.

    "I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology," the Oscar-winning actor said.
    Funny video at the link.

    I think Penn should stick to acting like a retard rather than a statesman. It's less of a stretch for him.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Falklands Dispute: Argentine Union To Boycott UK Ships
    February 13, 2012

    Argentina's transport workers' union says it will boycott ships flying the British flag because of the dispute over the Falkland Islands.

    The union - which includes dock workers - said the measure would apply to all UK vessels reaching Argentina.

    It is not clear how much impact the boycott will have.

    Tension between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands has been rising in recent months as the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war approaches.

    "We have resolved to boycott any ship with the British flag, or with the lying and invented flag of the Falklands, or with any flag of convenience which the British pirates use," the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers said in a statement.

    The announcement is the latest in a series of measures aimed at pressing Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the islands, which it calls the Malvinas.

    In December, the South American trading bloc Mercosur closed its ports to ships flying the Falkland Islands flag.

    And last week Argentina took its case to the UN general assembly, where it accused the UK of "militarising" the region and sending a nuclear-armed submarine to the South Atlantic.

    The UK government has dismissed the claim of militarisation as "absurd" and says its defence posture in the Falklands has not changed.

    It says there can be no negotiations on sovereignty as long as the Falkland Islanders wish to remain British.

    Actor intervenes

    The latest figure to back the Argentine cause is the Hollywood actor and activist Sean Penn.

    After meeting Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires, he urged the UK to join talks on the dispute.

    "I think that the world today is not going to tolerate any kind of ludicrous and archaic commitment to colonialist ideology," the Oscar-winning actor said.

    His intervention has caused bemusement among the islanders.

    "Ha Ha if Penn supported UK Brits would probably ask what gives an actor the right to have an opinion on the Falklands?" Lisa Watson, editor of the Falklands newspaper the Penguin News wrote on Twitter.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands


    Enlarge this image

    ANNIVERSARY

    Britain's hold on tiny islands as firm as Iron Lady's will

    elizabeth renzetti

    LONDON— From Friday's Globe and Mail

    Published

    Last updated



    Thirty years after Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, it seems the British maintain a warm fondness for the chilly colony that almost none of them will ever see. In a poll this week, an astounding 61 per cent of respondents said they would be willing to fight “at any cost” to save the wind-scoured, sheep-festooned islands whose main assets are squid and symbolism.
    It’s more fuel for the political fire that’s been raging between Argentina and the U.K. in the weeks leading up to the April 2 anniversary of the war, an event that is a source of pride on one side of the Atlantic and humiliation on the other. But where the battle was fought three decades ago on sea and land, now the weapons are hot air. Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, accuse each other of “colonialism” and “arrogance,” while actor Sean Penn and pop star Morrissey call for Britain to hand the islands over to Argentina.
    At this point, the chance of the rhetoric escalating into something more deadly seems remote. “It’s probably the most unlikely scenario,” says Matt Ince of the British defence think tank RUSI. “Neither Argentina nor Britain has the stomach for a military conflict.”
    Instead, this game of geopolitical chess remains symbolic: On Feb. 4, Prince William, an RAF search-and-rescue pilot, began a controversial six-week stint at Britain’s military base in the Falklands. In return, Argentina’s ally Peru suddenly decides it doesn’t want a Royal Navy ship docking in its harbour. The British announce plans to send a new warship, HMS Dauntless, to the south Atlantic, and, in retaliation, the Argentine government decides it will challenge the British right to explore for oil off the Falklands’ coast.
    Why, you might wonder, would two governments spend so much energy fighting not once, but twice, over a rocky archipelago that’s not quite as big as Connecticut and is located 13,000 kilometres from the British motherland and 500 from the shores of the country that would like to annex it? “The Falklands were always an improbable cause for a 20th-century war,” wrote Margaret Thatcher, the woman who risked her political career on precisely that cause.
    For Mrs. Thatcher, the sneak attack by the Argentine military junta on April 2, 1982, and the 11-week war that followed proved a political windfall, though one that came with a heavy loss of life. (There were 907 deaths, more than two-thirds on the Argentine side.) Before the conflict began, her government was deeply unpopular in the polls and was seeking to reverse what she called Britain’s “long decline” on the international stage. Suddenly the Falklands’ 1,800 inhabitants – whom the British had been trying to quietly unload for years – were symbols of the country’s lost pride. “Self-determination” became the awkward rallying cry for the islands, which have been under British control since 1833. A loss in the Falklands would likely have ended her career; instead she went on to be the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century.
    Now there are 3,100 people and a permanent British military base on the islands, and it looks like there may be oil reserves off its shores. Squid fishing has replaced sheep farming as the animal cash crop of choice, but the Falklanders’ desire to stay British is as unyielding as the south Atlantic winds. It would be a political nightmare for David Cameron to lose the islands that his Tory predecessor fought so hard to keep. “We will defend the Falkland Islands properly,” he said last month.
    Mrs. Kirchner, whose Argentine government has complained to the United Nations about the “militarization of the South Atlantic,” has political and economic woes of her own. In fact, those woes might be the very reason she’s making so much noise about the Falklands (or Las Malvinas, as she would call them.) “It’s an attempt to exploit national grievances in Argentina and draw attention from her less popular policies,” Mr. Ince says. This is happening, unfortunately, at the same moment Britain is trying to strengthen its ties to Latin America.
    Prince William, whose presence the Argentines found such a provocation, has returned to Britain. But that’s not likely to cool tempers. With famous anniversaries approaching in May – the sinking of the Belgrano and Sheffield warships, the Battle of Goose Green – it’s likely more missiles will be fired in the war, heat-seeking but not necessarily lethal.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Argentine President Attacks Falklands ‘Injustice’
    April 3, 2012

    Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s president, used the 30th anniversary of her country’s invasion of the Falkland Islands to rubbish Britain’s claims to the south Atlantic territory, saying: “It is absurd to pretend dominion more than 14,000km across the sea.”

    “It is an injustice in the 21st century that there are still colonial enclaves,” Ms Fernández said in a sober speech in Ushuaia, the capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego to which Argentina says the islands it calls the Malvinas rightfully belong.

    Before a crowd including medal-wearing former conscripts and weeping women, she also hit back at comments earlier by David Cameron, the British prime minister, saying he appeared to have overlooked that the Falklands invasion 30 years ago – which he branded “an act of aggression that sought to rob [the islanders] of their freedom” – was perpetrated by a dictatorship that had confiscated the liberty of all Argentines. “We have been victims,” she said.

    She also demanded an end to environmental degradation and what Argentina sees as the ransacking of potential oil riches in waters around the islands, where British companies are operating with licences Argentina says are illegal.

    In the Argentine capital, a protest at the British embassy turned violent as demonstrators hurled petrol bombs and rocks at police who responded with tear gas.

    The British defence secretary, meanwhile, asserted that the UK would be able to defend the Falkland Islands robustly against a fresh attack by Argentina after the naval commander who led the taskforce that recaptured the islands in 1982 warned that the UK lacked the military power to do so today.

    Philip Hammond said the British government would not “repeat the mistake of 1982 and allow the Falklands to be taken from us.

    “We will defend them robustly, we have the assets, the people, the equipment in place to do so,” the British defence secretary said.

    This came after Admiral Sir John Woodward told The Times newspaper that the UK would not be able to repeat that mission today as it lacked the aircraft carriers to do so.

    But Mr Hammond insisted: “We have the assets in position on the Falklands which we didn’t back in the early 1980s that will enable us to see off any acts of aggression.”

    Amid a recent escalation of tensions between the UK and Argentina, Mr Cameron said there would be no change in his government’s policy on the disputed islands.

    “Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future,” he said. “That was the fundamental principle that was at stake 30 years ago: and that is the principle which we solemnly reaffirm today.”

    Three decades after Argentinian troops seized the islands’ capital Port Stanley on April 2, 1982, Mr Cameron paid tribute to the taskforce sent by Margaret Thatcher to take them back.

    In a gesture of reconciliation, however, he said it should be a day to remember both sides’ losses in the conflict: the 649 Argentinians who died as well as the 255 British military personnel.

    Mr Cameron said in a written statement he was adamant Britain would not compromise on the central issue of the islanders’ right to self-determination.

    “Thirty years ago today the people of the Falkland Islands suffered an act of aggression that sought to rob them of their freedom and their way of life,” he said.

    “Today is a day for commemoration and reflection: a day to remember all those who lost their lives in the conflict – the members of our armed forces, as well as the Argentinian personnel who died.”

    Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Falkland Islands
    Juan Mabromata | AFP | Getty Images
    Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner holds a plaque before delivering a speech during a ceremony to mark the 30th Anniversary of the 1982 South Atlantic war between Argentina and the Britain over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
    The government of Ms Fernández has been loudly reasserting its claim to the islands in the run-up to the anniversary.

    Ms Fernández has threatened to cancel permission for the only commercial flight to the islands to fly over her country, and protests have taken place outside the UK embassy in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital.

    The Argentine embassy in London has written to banks, warning them against even peripheral involvement in oil exploration around the disputed archipelago. Even issuing research about the oil industry’s prospects around the Falklands could lead to legal threats, the letter said.

    William Hague, foreign secretary, described Argentina’s array of aggressive actions as “deeply regrettable” and said the government’s statements “have impressed few people, including in South America”.

    “We should remind the world that in the years since their liberation the Falkland islanders have repeated – without qualification or equivocation – their wish to keep their constitutional status, their national identity, and to live peacefully with their neighbours in Latin America,” he said. “As long as the people of the Falklands continue to express that view, the UK will defend and support their right to do so.”

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    On War's Anniversary, Falklands Are Explosive Again
    March 29, 2012

    Thirty years after Argentina and the U.K. waged a brief but bloody war over control of the tiny Falkland Islands, the two countries are again crossing swords in a diplomatic war that could put a strain on British interests in the region.

    On April 2, 1982, Argentina's then-ruling military junta invaded the archipelago; Britain responded by dispatching troops, leading to the two-month war that led to the death of nearly 1,000 Argentine and British military personnel.

    The Falklands have remained a British territory, with the U.K. providing defense and local citizens electing their own government. But old tensions have remained close to the surface. While analysts don't expect another military clash, finger-pointing has escalated in the run-up to the anniversary, with both sides accusing the other of colonialism.

    Among recent salvos: Argentina in March threatened legal action against British companies involved in oil exploration in the Falkland Islands. The U.K.'s deputy prime minister this week accused Argentina of making "unfounded, baseless insinuations" by implying that the Britain had deployed a nuclear-armed submarine to the South Atlantic.

    Relations are expected to remain frosty over the coming months, especially around a planned visit by Jeremy Browne, a minister from the U.K. Foreign Office, to the Falkland Islands in mid-June to commemorate the end of the war.

    In recent months, the administration of Argentine President Christina Kirchner has voiced increasingly loud anti-British rhetoric and raised efforts to isolate the U.K. diplomatically in South America in order to try to force it to the negotiating table. In doing so, British officials recently told reporters that Mrs. Kirchner is trying to distract voters from a range of domestic issues, such as a slowing economy. Fueling tensions is the prospect of huge oil and gas finds of the islands' coast, with several U.K. drilling companies boosting efforts to develop crude oil reserves.

    Argentina generally claims historical and cultural rights to what it calls the Malvinas islands and asserts that its oil and fishing resources are being plundered by the British. Argentina's position has drawn support from celebrities such as U.S. actor Sean Penn and the U.K. singer Morrissey, supporters of South American nationalism.

    The U.K. has controlled the islands—about 300 miles off of Argentina's coast—since 1833, a claim Argentina has long disputed. Argentina says it wants peaceful sovereignty negotiations with the U.K., something the British government has said it will refuse to do unless the islanders say they want to.

    The roughly 3,000 population, who are overwhelmingly of British descent, speak English and have U.K. citizenship. Britain's victory in the 1982 war proved a boost to the country's government, then led by Margaret Thatcher.

    Security specialists say the current diplomatic row is unlikely to lead to military action. While sovereignty of the Falkland Islands is a popular issue among voters in Argentina, using nonpeaceful means to assert that claim isn't. Both sides say they are not looking for war.

    Analysts say a greater risk for Britain is attempts by Argentina to isolate the U.K. diplomatically from the region, which could negatively impact British strategic interests in the region. That's important because the current U.K. government has raised its focus on trade.

    Argentina does have the ability to get neighboring countries to publicly back its claims of sovereignty, largely out of sympathy for its anti-European colonialist narrative, analysts say. The current tensions started in December after Argentina persuaded other countries in the South American Mercosur trade bloc—including Brazil and Uruguay —to ban ships flying the Falklands flag from their ports.

    Then, in March, Peru withdrew permission for a U.K. frigate to visit in what the Peruvian foreign minister said was a decision taken in solidarity of "the legitimate rights of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute" over the Falkland Islands.

    While some U.K. government officials say Peru's decision was disappointing, they say such events generally haven't proved problematic for relations in the region and that even countries that signed up to the blockade have said privately they don't want it to affect their overall relations with the U.K.

    In recent months, Argentine government officials have threatened to boycott U.K. goods and take measures against what they call "illegal" exploration for oil in the waters surrounding the Falkland Islands. Falklands residents are concerned that Argentina may carry out a threat to further isolate the disputed islands by blocking the only regular commercial flight to the Falklands, which flies over Argentine airspace from Chile.

    Action by the U.K. has added to the tensions. In January, it announced the deployment of one of its newest and most sophisticated warships to the South Atlantic shortly after British Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of "colonialism."

    That led to a complaint by Argentina to the United Nations that the U.K. posed a risk to international security by "militarizing" the dispute. And, in February, the U.K. sent Prince William—who is second in line to the British throne—to the Falkland Islands to do a stint as a search and rescue pilot.

    The U.K. said the deployment of the warship, which was replacing a frigate previously stationed there, and Prince William were routine.

    British officials say the U.K. has launched a diplomatic effort to explain its position on the situation to other South American countries and is seeking to make clear to Argentina and partners in the region its position on the Falklands.

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Fernández Hopes Peronist Coup Will Revive Argentina's Failing Economy
    Boss of nationalised oil company Repsol declares 'This is being done to cover up the social and economic crisis in Argentina'

    April 17, 2012

    Even as president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced on TV her plan to nationalise Spanish-owned YPF, her emissaries were at the oil company's 35-storey Buenos Aires headquarters giving its Spanish directors 15 minutes to leave the building.

    Coming two months after King Juan Carlos had personally phoned Fernández to lobby against such a move, the seizure enraged Madrid. "Argentina has just shot itself in the foot in a really bad way," said Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, warning that the takeover would hamper Argentina's access to international credit and export markets. "The damage to Argentina could be irreparable," he said.

    But in Argentina, Fernández's televised announcement that she was sending a bill to Congress to appropriate Repsol's majority stake in YPF was greeted with cheers of "Cris-ti-na! Cris-ti-na!" by her officials in the audience at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Members of La Campora, the Peronist youth group founded by her son Máximo Kirchner, these young economists are masterminding the nationalist imprint that characterises her second term after a landslide 54% in last year's elections.

    The tabloid Crónica headlined its front page "Dame Courage", while a crowd gathered at the Casa Rosada with banners reading "We're going for everything" – a phrase Fernández has used to describe her "national and popular" government's battle against the media and "corporations" that she has in the past accused of plotting her overthrow.

    The YPF bill giving the government a 51% stake is expected to pass in less than two weeks, but opponents are outraged. "This decision is going to make things worse, rather than better and goes totally against the interests of the Argentine people, and within a year we're going to be in a worse situation than we are in now," said the capital's mayor, Mauricio Macri, of the conservative PRO party, lead contender for 2015's presidential election.

    Fernández was motivated in part by a failing energy sector, which has been unable to meet the demand of the economic takeoff of the past nine years. Growth is also threatened by inflation and by the spending on social welfare programmes and industrial subsidies that forms the basis of Fernández's popularity.

    In 2012, it is estimated Argentina will import more than $12bn of gas and oil to compensate for the failure of firms such as YPF (which produces 30% of Argentina's oil) to meet demand.

    YPF was privatised and sold to Repsol by a previous Peronist administration in the 1990s.

    Renationalisation is aligned in the minds of Fernández supporters with the renewed demand for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic claimed by Argentina as "Las Malvinas".

    "The Malvinas are Argentine, so is YPF," say posters around the country and a T-shirt that artists who support Fernández have started wearing on internet campaigns in favour of the takeover. "This ends five centuries of white Spanish domination," said a supporter. Argentina was ruled by Spain until its independence in 1816.

    But opponents blame the government's erratic energy policies for the energy gap. "There is no energy plan," said María Eugenia Estenssoro, an opposition senator of the Civic Coalition party. "How can we expect the same people responsible for this problem to fix it?"

    Fernández's government could use some distraction. Inflation, at 20%, threatens to accelerate following the removal of consumer subsidies on home utility rates and transport. The ensuing 500% increase in energy bills for some homes and hefty rises for train and bus tickets has alienated consumers who voted last year for continuation of an economic miracle that now seems endangered.

    For the time being, Argentina is ignoring Madrid's angry words about the forced takeover. "This president won't respond to any disrespect or insolent phrases," Fernández said. "I am a head of state, not a bully."

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    Default Re: Argentina In New Battle Over The Falklands

    Britain warns Argentina over Falklands "aggression"

    By Michael Holden

    LONDON | Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:15pm EDT

    (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron warned Argentina on Thursday that London stood "ready and willing" to defend the Falkland Islands, 30 years after Britain recaptured the South Atlantic archipelago whose sovereignty remains a hotly contested issue.

    In a speech to commemorate the 1982 British victory over Argentina, Cameron accused Argentina's government of "aggression" and said there would be "absolutely no negotiation" over sovereignty of the tiny islands, about 300 miles off the Argentine coast.

    Tensions between the two countries have escalated in recent months, especially since British companies started to carry out offshore oil exploration. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has reasserted claims to the scattered islands, known in Spanish as Las Malvinas.

    "My message to the government of Argentina is this. The UK has no aggressive intentions towards you," Cameron told an audience including British veterans of the two-month war to retake the Falklands which resulted in the deaths of 255 British and about 650 Argentine soldiers.

    "But do not underestimate our resolve. Threats will not work. Attempts to intimidate the islanders will not succeed. Because Britain stands ready and willing to stand up for the Falkland Islanders at any time."

    Britain says there could be talks on sovereignty only if the islanders wanted them. The islands' government said on Tuesday it would hold a referendum, probably next year, of its 3,000 inhabitants to see if they wanted to stay part of Britain's self-governing overseas territories.

    'PARADOX'

    Argentine Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli dismissed the idea of a referendum. "It's a paradox to ask the usurpers to debate whether or not they want to continue usurping," he said in a speech on Thursday marking the end of the war.

    "Argentina has historic, legal and geographic arguments in favor of our sovereignty over the Malvinas," he said.

    Gavin Short, chairman of the Falklands Legislative Assembly, said he was certain the residents would back a continued link with London and Cameron said this would clarify the position "beyond any doubt".

    Argentina accuses Britain of colonialism over the archipelago London has controlled since 1833. Fernandez was due to attend a meeting of the U.N. Decolonization Committee on Thursday to raise the issue and push for talks.

    "Britain's excuses for not negotiating are unfounded," Alicia Castro, the Argentine ambassador to London, wrote in an article for the Independent newspaper.

    "They cannot hide behind the so-called self-determination of the islanders when no UN resolution has recognized such a right."

    As well as stepping up its rhetoric, Argentina has been applying diplomatic and economic pressure.

    In December, the South American trading bloc Mercosur - including associate member Chile - agreed that vessels sailing under a Falkland Islands flag would be banned from docking at any of its ports as an act of solidarity with Argentina.

    Cameron said he wanted a sensible relationship with Buenos Aires and a partnership over issues such as fishing.

    "There is only one shadow on the horizon. And that is the aggression from over the water," Cameron said.

    "We've seen the (Argentine) president trying to restrict the movement of Falklands vessels, banning charter flights to and from Argentina and today, escalating the debate at the U.N."

    (Additional reporting by Hugh Bronstein in Buenos Aires; editing by Mohammad Zargham)
    Libertatem Prius!


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