About the author

Christian Scheinpflug

Christian Scheinpflug

Christian works as analyst, editor and translator in Santiago de Chile. He writes about Latin American geopolitics and Chilean foreign policy. His work has also been published by E-International Relations. Follow him on Twitter @ChrScheinpflug.

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9 Comments

  1. 1

    @devolverislas

    The Falkland Islands/Malvinas remain, so long as they are under British control, a symbol of imperialism. Castro was right. The British seized Port Louis in 1833, ending, by threat of force, the administration, from Buenos Aires, by the United Provinces of the River Plate. This was following the invasions of Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807, when the British attempt to establish a foothold on the continent of South America ultimately failed.

    The referendum in 2013 on the Islands was a sham exercise in democracy. The Islanders voted, yes. But they voted for more of the same. There was no alternative on the ballot papers. Vote not to stay British? Unlikely. The referendum was a successful public relations exercise, an attempt to arrest the burgeoning support for Argentina and its claim. The Islanders, once subject to the economic monopoly of the Falkland Islands Company, administered in absence from the UK, are still subject to the Crown and cannot elect their own leader. It would have been more meaningful to hold a referendum addressing that flaw in their democracy.

    Argentina’s claim is wholly just and the British Government knows it. Conservative governments, however, are lily-livered and want to trade with Argentina and the rest of South America. So in order not to upset sensibilities they stand by the feeble pretence of self-determination for the islanders. That is to say that there will be no talks on sovereignty unless the Islanders want them.

    This position, however, is defying the will of the United Nations. The resolution 2065 (XX) Question of the Falkland Islands/Malvinas, passed in 1965, deliberately omits reference to self-determination for the inhabitants of the Islands and calls on the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom to engage in talks with a view to settling the dispute over sovereignty. The UK continues to ignore this resolution.

    Democratic Chile rightly supports the Argentinian claim.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Anonymous

      You would, of course, support a worldwide return to the borders of 1833 or maybe earlier. We could make the cutoff date 1800 and return all of Latin America to Spain or Portugal, except of course, Patagonia. That would be returned to the Mapuche.

      Reply
    2. 1.2

      Charles Poynton

      I am hard pressed to think of any time in the past 200 years when rule from BA or Madrid would have been better than rule from London. The history of Argentina is littered with military dictatorships and utterly corrupt civilian rule. At least your savings might be safe as UK or Falkland Islands pounds, whereas the Argentine peso was and remains best changed into a more stable currency at the earliest opportunity, such as pounds, USD or euro.

      Reply
    3. 1.3

      Anonymous

      You say “under British control”, but offer no evidence to support your claim. Britain didn’t “seize Port Louis”, as you put it; Vernet had requested of the British that he set up a business killing the cattle, of which there were many thousands, in 1829. Following murder and mutiny among his employees, the British expelled his business and the vast majority of those employees elected to stay on, becoming part of the population that had been encouraged to become pioneers and settlers.

      The referendum was overseen by several outside parties, notably from Uruguay, to ensure it was carried out correctly, in accordance with international law. Several people did, indeed, choose other than to remain British, resulting in a 98.6% vote in favour of remaining British. We continue to elect our own government, overseen by our Governor who is appointed by the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, of which we are members. He has no real power, but ensures that law is administered fairly and in accordance with British Law.

      UN Res. 2065 states that a resolution of the question of sovereignty be arrived at by “peaceable means”. Argentina’s invasion in 1982, and it’s subsequent ignoring of UN Res. 502 to back down and cease their aggression, effectively nullified 2065. The Right of Self-Determination is not ignored by 2065, however. The Right of Self-Determination is part of the Charter of the United Nations and is the entitlement of all signatories of the UN. In 1988, Argentina made the decision to drop the application of UN Res. 2065.

      Similarly, on the several occasions that Britain has invited Argentina to sit down and talk, Argentina has either refused or simply walk out once they realise that Falkland Islanders will also be present. If Argentina were serious about their claim they would have taken it to the International Court of Justice, again something they will never do because they are on very shakey ground.

      Reply
  2. 2

    Anonymous

    Very well said! Argentina’s imperial designs to build the “Blue Pampas” should be resisted at all costs. The vast maritime empire which Buenos Aires seeks from Buenos Aires to Antarctica should never happen. The British territories are legitimately British and Argentina refuses to go to the International Court of Justice, but only will accept a “political solution” with “talks”.
    It is all based on the fanaticization of all young Argentines when they are at school, the fascist indoctrination put there by General Peron and his fascist colleagues since 1941 when they invented the “Malvinas” cause when London was under the bombs and they then started to sing the Malvinas anthem while they lied to their people telling them that this is a problem from 1833!

    Reply
  3. 3

    David Foot

    Well said!
    The vast maritime empire which Buenos Aires seeks and which they call the Blue Pampas should never happen, it is all a fruit of the indoctrination of General Peron and his indoctrination of all Argentines which still remains in their education system since the 1940’s decade. In 1941 when London was under the bombs they started to sing the Malvinas Anthem! However they tell their people that this is a problem from 1833!
    The war occurred because of this fanatisization and the need for Argentine military dictators to stay in power and not to answer for the serious crimes like Argentines throwing other Argentines out of Argentine planes piloted by Argentine pilots.
    Argentina refuses to go to the International Court of Justice and Mr. Macri said that he couldn’t understand the sovereignty issue in such a large country like Argentina and that the Falklands would cost Argentina a lot of money to run.
    Now that Macri is in power he must obey the fascist written constitution which silences the truth and he dare not repeat what he said as a private individual.

    Reply
  4. 4

    Henry

    “In general, Latin America undermining Falklands democracy is a disgrace. The Falklanders deserve their land wholeheartedly, because, unlike Chile or Argentina, they didn’t exterminate indigenous populations to acquire it. So, though Latin American integration is badly needed, cultural genocide must not come of it.”

    …Do you know how Britain acquired the Falklands, and all of their empire? Almost comical writing.

    Reply
    1. 4.1

      Anonymous

      A lot of the British expansion of their empire was because they offered a better deal. Here in New Zealand, the Maoris were indulging in the most disgusting civil wars, with stronger tribes invading the territory of the weaker, killing and often eating the men while enslaving the women and children. The British offered a way out of that and many (but not all) the Maoris signed a treaty, putting themselves under British administration. What the British did not tell them was that they would steal their land.

      Reply
  5. 5

    Roger Lorton

    History and international law support the Falkland Islanders, whose right to decide their own future is so certain that Argentina will never take a case to the International Court of Justice. The ICJ has already ruled that the right of self-determination applies to ALL the old colonies listed at the United Nations. there are no exceptions.

    History speaks for itself – https://falklandstimeline.wordpress.com/chapter-pdfs/

    Reply

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