Video: Malvinas, advances and setbacks in relations with London in the last 40 years

The Malvinas case is a chapter in our history that is still open. The British usurpation of January 3, 1833 has deprived Argentina of sovereignty over a territory that undoubtedly belongs to our country. Claims before the United Nations Decolonization Committee have been a constant of each government. This is, without a doubt, the most important cause of our foreign policy.

The reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, in 1990 during the government of Carlos Saúl Menembrought some news. Under the umbrella of the sovereignty claim, throughout that decade progress was made in a series of agreements for the conservation of fishing and hydrocarbon resources. Perhaps the most promising was the one signed in 1995 between Foreign Ministers Guido Di Tella and Malcolm Rifkind on cooperation in activities offshore in the Southwest Atlantic.

First post-war rapprochement: Foreign Ministers Guido Di Tella and Malcolm Rifkind signing an agreement on cooperation in offshore activities in the Southwest Atlantic, in 1995 (AFP)

At the same time, Di Tella launched a controversial policy of seduction of the island population, which included in December 1993 the delivery of some video tapes of the cartoon Pingus. In 1996 it was the turn of a set of copies of “The Little Prince”, by Antoine Saint Exupéry, in English, along with the most famous phrase of the text: “What is essential is invisible to the eye”. In 1997 the gift was a book on the history of Patagonia, written in English. In 1998, it was the turn of the famous Winnie-the-Pooh children’s storybooks, which reached 600 Kelper families.

FISHERIES AND HYDROCARBONS: BRITISH UNILATERAL ACTIONS

However, failing to comply with this spirit of dialogue, the British unilaterally extended their usurpation over the marine spaces surrounding the Malvinas. Specifically, between 1987 and 1993, they decided to expand the supposed “exclusive economic zone” around the islands to a total of 551,000 km². For its part, the island administration began to grant fishing licenses in those waters. It is estimated that these incomes currently represent 40% of the GDP of the islands. According to expert analysis, due to the extraction of fishing resources in waters surrounding the Malvinas, Argentina has lost between 63,000 and 148,000 million dollars in the last four decades, at an average of 200,000 tons per year.

In March 2013, the island government called a referendum, rejected by Argentina, in which, according to data released by the Kelper administration, 99.8% voted in favor of keeping the territory under British sovereignty (File DEF)
In March 2013, the island government called a referendum, rejected by Argentina, in which, according to data released by the Kelper administration, 99.8% voted in favor of keeping the territory under British sovereignty (File DEF)

In view of this situation and the failure of the British to fulfill their commitments, In March 2007, the Néstor Kirchner government informed London of the Argentine government’s decision to terminate the 1995 agreement on activities in the Southwest Atlantic..

The situation was aggravated with the arrival, in February 2010, of the “Ocean Guardian” platform to prospect for oil 100 km north of the Malvinas Islands. The Argentine government accused the British of “plundering the non-renewable natural resources of our country.” Along the same lines, Congress approved a law that sanctions foreign oil companies that have concessions in waters adjacent to the islands.

Within the framework of the G-20 summit, then President Mauricio Macri received Prime Minister Theresa May in Buenos Aires, with whom he held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the official meetings of the forum (File DEF)
Within the framework of the G-20 summit, then President Mauricio Macri received Prime Minister Theresa May in Buenos Aires, with whom he held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the official meetings of the forum (File DEF)

In March 2013, meanwhile, the island government called a referendum, rejected by Argentina, in which, according to data released by the Kelper administration, 99.8% voted in favor of keeping the territory under British sovereignty. The Argentine Foreign Ministry rejected the character of that consultation in light of International Law and pointed out that “the United Kingdom lacks any right to seek to alter the legal status of those territories, even under the guise of a hypothetical referendum.”

FROM THE G-20 TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE FALLEN ARGENTINES IN THE MALVINAS

The Macri administration tried a timid rapprochement with the United Kingdom, starting with the talks held in September 2016 between Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori and his British counterpart Alan Duncan. In November 2018, within the framework of the G-20 summit, then President Mauricio Macri received Prime Minister Theresa May in Buenos Aires, with whom he held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the official meetings of the forum.

In recent years, a fact that aroused great expectation in the relatives of the Fallen in Malvinas was the process of identifying the remains of Argentine soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery (File DEF)
In recent years, a fact that aroused great expectation in the relatives of the Fallen in Malvinas was the process of identifying the remains of Argentine soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery (File DEF)

In recent years, a fact that aroused great expectation in the relatives of the Fallen in Malvinas was the identification process, based on DNA tests, of the remains of Argentine soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery. The initiative has been promoted by British Colonel Geoffrey Cardozo and Argentine ex-combatant Julio Aro. Both were nominated in 2020 for the Nobel Peace Prize.

On a diplomatic level, Argentina has achieved in recent years the support of both Mercosur and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for its claim against the United Kingdom. It also has the support of groups of great importance in the international arena, such as the G-77 + China, which brings together developing countries. Y, year after year, Argentina reiterates its claim before the United Nations for the United Kingdom to return to the negotiating table, so far without success.

KEEP READING:

39 years after the conflict, what are the diplomatic channels to recover the Malvinas?
Malvinas, how is the work going to recognize the remains of the Fallen?
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