Britain will boost its defenses in the Falkland Islands, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on Tuesday, as Argentina was reportedly considering to lease bomber planes from Russia in return for beef exports.
Argentina still poses a “very live threat” to the British-ruled islands, Fallon said.
Residents of the Falkland Islands voted overwhelmingly to remain an overseas dependency of the United Kingdom in a referendum on Sunday and Monday, defying increasingly aggressive Argentinian claims of sovereignty over the islands which are situated some five hundred kilometers off the Patagonian coast.
Of late, the Argentinian government has objected to continued Royal Naval deployments to the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands which are situated some three hundred miles from Argentina’s coast in the South Atlantic.
Buenos Aires under President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has since the end of last year made demands and claims over the islands, seeking to take Britain to international arbitration in hopes of gaining support for its case.
It has, from celebrities including musician Morrissey and the American actor Sean Penn. They have made statements supporting Kirchner’s policy and damning Britain’s possession of the islands as an anachronism.
Accusations have been made of Britain “militarizing” the issue via deploying “more” naval forces and prominent people, though how the dispatching of the Duke of Cambridge to the islands to learn air-sea rescue methods, or rotating a T-45 destroyer through the Falklands station simply because it was its turn, is “militarizing the issue” does not make sense to anyone aware of the concept of training deployments. Read more “Argentina’s Claim to Falklands a Travesty”
In what was explained as a display of “Latin American support for Argentina’s legitimate rights,” Peru on Monday disallowed a British frigate to dock in one of its ports.
According to Peru’s foreign minister, “This decision has been made to honor our commitment with the UNASUR” — an interregional body that includes all South American nations except French Guyana — and in recognition of “Argentina’s legitimate rights regarding the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and their surrounding maritime territories.” Read more “Peru Displays “Latin American Solidarity,” Britain Shrugs”
The British government on Wednesday warned that there should be no doubt about its commitment to supporting the Falklands Islands after Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay banned ships that fly the islands’ “illegal” flag from their ports.
Admiral Alan William John West, a former Royal Navy chief and security minister in the last cabinet, suggested that Britain dispatch a nuclear submarine to the South Atlantic and stage military exercises there to express its displeasure at the “outrageous behavior” of Argentina and its neighbors.
President Barack Obama claims to be a staunch proponent of his country’s “special relationship” with the United Kingdom but when it comes to the sensitive Falklands issue, his administration insists on stabbing a longtime ally in the back.
Last week, the United States supported a “draft declaration on the question of the Malvinas Islands” adopted by the Organization of American States by unanimous consent. Referring to the islands by their Argentine name, the resolution calls upon Argentina and Britain to enter into negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands. Read more “Obama Undermines British Claims in Falklands”
In 1982 the Buenos Aires government under General Galtieri invaded the Falkland Islands off the south coast of Argentina with a force of several thousand soldiers, overwhelming the garrison of Royal Marines stationed on the island. On the same day the Royal Navy was ordered to assemble a task force to reclaim the Falklands by force. The history of the conflict can be found in many books but despite a British victory exacting over six hundred Argentine lives the causes of the war persist to this day, at least in Argentina.
The claim to the Falkland Islands (or Malvinas as they are known to Argentinians) is one of proximity and historical claim; i.e., that they are much nearer to the Argentina than they are to Britain. Secondly Argentina, after gaining independence from Spain, sent a ship to use the islands as a penal colony. This was never accomplished due to a mutiny aboard the vessel. In 1833 a British force arrived and claimed the desolate islands. They have since seen the establishment of settlements, from which grew the current population of Falkland islanders. In the minds of Argentinians however, the islands are “rightfully” theirs. Read more “The Current Problem in the Falklands”