Falklands War Still a Major Issue Between Britain and Argentina
Update: A New war of words has sprung up in the Falkland Islands dispute. Argentina President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has returned to the fray with a blistering attack on British "colonialism" and a demand to hand back "Las Malvinas."
Argentina considers the island chain to be their own, though it is officially British territory.
In a biting letter to David Cameron, Fernández urges the UK to abide by a 1960 United Nations resolution urging member states to "end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations."
On the 30th anniversary of the Falklands war on April 2, hundreds of furious Argentineans headed on the British embassy in Buenos Aires. Union flags were set ablaze while a crowd threw stones at the embassy. A photo of Prince William burning in effigy was disseminated in mainstream media. Tensions over the disputed Falkland Islands have started boiling.
Geographically Argentina has all rights to claim sovereignty over disputed Islands whereas the will of Islanders is another key point in this issue. Therefore a reasonable solution for the UK and Argentina would be to reach a common solution on shared oil revenues around the Falklands, while Islanders would remain British and Argentina would have its bite of the oil resources.
The Falklands are one of the most painful issues that colonialism left for Argentina. It might sound odd and it is quite bizarre when the UK claims sovereignty over the tiny islands which are located somewhere in South Atlantic, 8,000 miles away from Britain. Thus it is reasonable that Argentina is openly hostile towards Britain, as they see the Falklands as occupied territory. But complexity of the issue arises when some 3,000 inhabitants of the Islands strongly state their will to remain British, and this is a moment when the interests of each side should be taken into account.
Argentina is not the country which is ready for military action. Argentinean president Christina Kirchner realizes that war between the two countries would not be possible, especially a conflict that would end in another defeat and humiliation for Argentineans. Argentina is clearly weaker militarily than the UK.
However, she has used a strong diplomatic strategy which has united Argentineans against the UK and put forward a task of unification of entire Latin America against Britain. When Britain decided to go for further exploration of the sea bed around the Falklands for oil deposits, the issue of sovereignty once again come forward on the Argentinean agenda.
It is expected that by 2016 the UK will start oil production around the Falklands, an issue which irritates Argentineans. Indeed, it is ridiculous that the UK is going to take control over South Atlantic waters around Argentina and get revenue from natural recourses of its former colony because geographically it has no connection with the Islands and the Falklands still remains part of British colonial policy. Britain has got a very strong and vulnerable point of “self-determination” of inhabitants who want to remain British. In fact, if Argentina obtains sovereignty over the Falklands, the people of Islands would undergo a very thorough cultural change and would be marginalized, as they would not have such easy access to Britain as they have today.
Historically, the majority of Islanders are of British descent and who have strong a connection with the UK and in case if Argentina gets sovereignty over Falklands these ties would be damaged. While bitter rhetoric between politicians of two states adds fuel to the fire, ordinary British people strongly criticize the Argentinean position. On the other hand, Argentineans condemn British to be colonialists. The Foreign Ministry of Argentina has said that Britain still persists with colonialism and plunders the natural recourses belonging to other nations.
Unquestionably, the will of Islanders is a key point and the replacement of powers would have a devastating effect on people. The colonial past which has left a huge stain on the future of the Islands is not fault of the people who have been living with British culture throughout the century. A reasonable solution for the UK is to share oil revenues which would be gotten from the sea bed around the Falklands with Argentina. For its part, Buenos Aires should go for a compromise and agree with this proposal whereas; Islanders would remain British as they wish.