The British and Argentineans are disputing the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands Again

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 24th, 2011

Week in Review

The British are making cuts in military spending.  Could there be another Falklands War afoot?  Now that some perceive that they don’t have the strength or the reach they once had?  Perhaps (see Britain slams Argentina, vows to protect Falklands by Mohammed Abbas posted 12/23/2011 on Reuters).

Britain has controlled the South Atlantic islands, located about 300 miles off the eastern coast Argentina, since 1833. Its two-month war with Argentina in 1982 resulted in the deaths of 255 British and about 650 Argentine soldiers.

The British government says it will only agree to sovereignty talks if the territory’s 3,000 residents ask it to, and that the islanders want to remain British.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has rejected the argument as a display of “mediocrity bordering on stupidity” and earlier this year called Britain a “crass colonial power in decline” for refusing to hold talks over the islands, known as Las Malvinas in Spanish.

The residents of the Falkland Islands are British in pretty much every sense of the word.  They speak English.  Visiting British doctors provide their health care.  The Islands were uninhabited when the British first landed on them.  There have been other Europeans there but it’s been mostly British.  The 1982 Falklands War was more a diversion from floundering Argentine economic policies.  The people who live there are for all intents and purposes British.  And want to remain British.  So why are the Argentines so intent on making this British population Argentinean?

Diplomatic tensions over the islands have increased in recent years over offshore oil exploration.

Oh.  That’s why.  The money.  Some things never change.

This isn’t a colonial colony where a foreign power moved in and oppressed the local population.  Something all European nations have been guilty of.  Including Britain.  But these islands had no local population when the British moved in.  Any other people that did live there at one time or another were other colonial powers.  Yes the islands are close to Argentina geographically.  But they are closer to Britain in every other way.  And probably should stay British.  At least, if that’s what the local population wants.

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