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Argentina’s envoy to Britain: Malvinas referendum is illegal

Press TV – March 4, 2013

A referendum on the Malvinas Islands’ sovereignty is a publicity stunt with no legal ground, Argentina’s ambassador to Britain Alicia Castro has said.

The Malvinas settlers will take part in a referendum next Sunday for the islanders to decide whether they want to remain British or rather they want to rejoin Argentina as motherland.

Argentina, however, has repeatedly announced that the islander’s vote does not count as they believe the Royal Navy has expelled the Argentinians who originally lived on the territory and has replaced them with British settlers.

“This referendum has no legal grounds. It’s not approved, nor will it be recognized by the United Nations or the international community,” Castro said.

“So this referendum is little more than a public relations exercise.”

Britain illegally occupied the Malvinas Islands in 1833 and has since refused to leave. Over the past years, Argentina has repeatedly brought the question of Malvinas to international forums in a bid to highlight its sovereignty over the region.


Some Facts about the Question of the Malvinas Islands

Tripoli Post – 27/02/2013

Dear Editor,

I would like to avail myself of the possibility to reach the readers of The Tripoli Post in order to correct a series of inaccuracies included in the article entitled “Senkaku/Diaoyu: Another Falklands?” of your February 9th issue. I thank your prestigious publication for allowing me to contribute to a fairer and better understanding of the “Question of the Malvinas Islands”.

When comparing the case of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the case of the Malvinas Islands, the author of the aforementioned article says that the latter “have been inhabited by some thousands of English-speaking people of British descent for almost two centuries” and that “Argentina’s claim relates to a short-lived colony in 1830-33 which was preceded by somewhat longer-lived French and British colonies in the 1700s.”

Not true: it is well documented that from as early as the XVIth Century the whole austral region of the Americas – with its coasts, seas and islands – was under the effective control of the Spanish authorities by virtue of several treaties signed by Spain and the United Kingdom. The 32 consecutive Governors named by Spain for the Islands further proves this, as also does the fact that the Argentine governments which succeeded Spain took over and exercised themselves both jurisdiction and administrative faculties over the Malvinas Islands.

Furthermore, all through the process leading to its recognition of the Argentine state in 1825, the United Kingdom did not state any intention to stake a claim to the Malvinas Islands. And in June 1829 Argentina formally created the Political and Military Command of the Malvinas Islands.

On the 3rd of February 1833, a corvette of the British Royal Navy forcefully expelled the Argentine authorities from the islands. Thus started the colonial situation which still prevails and which has incessantly been protested by Argentina.

It is important to mention that in 1965 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2065 (XX) which recognizes the existence of a sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, establishes that the situation in the Malvinas Islands is a form of colonialism and invites both governments to engage without delay in negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the problem. This mandate has been reiterated and confirmed up to the present through 40 Resolutions
of the General Assembly and the Decolonization Committee of the UN, as well as by other multinational fora, amongst which the most recent is the Africa – South America Summit held last week in Malabo, where the 54 African countries joined South America in recognizing the legitimate Argentine Sovereignty rights over Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

Unfortunately, while the United Kingdom refuses to resume dialogue with the Argentine Republic, it does continue carrying out unilateral activities in the disputed area, such as exploration and exploitation of oil and fisheries, thus disrespecting also Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, which calls on both parties in the sovereignty dispute to refrain from adopting decisions which introduce unilateral modifications to the situation. These unilateral activities also include the increasing militarization of the area, which challenges the characterization of the South Atlantic as a Peace Zone, therefore causing concern in the countries of Latin America.

In the meantime, the Argentine Republic reaffirms its vocation for dialogue and its predisposition to comply with the many calls of the international community in order to find a peaceful, fair and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute.

Mauricio Nine
Chargé d´Affaires
Argentine Embassy in Libya”

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10 Comments »

  1. “The Malvinas settlers will take part in a referendum next Sunday for the islanders to decide whether they want to remain British or rather they want to rejoin Argentina as motherland” Why didn’t the citizens of Northern Ireland get the same referendum?

    Comment by Paris | March 5, 2013 | Reply

    • Actually, what makes you think that such a reference in North Ireland would have made a difference?!… Protestant (Unionist) Irish (those are the Irish that do not seek independence from Britain) are the majority in North Ireland… In fact, that’s the reason why Britain kept on to North Ireland…

      Indeed, according to a 2009 opinion poll, 69% of North Irish express a longterm preference of the maintenance of Northern Ireland’s membership of the United Kingdom…

      Clearly such a referendum wouldn’t change anything…

      Comment by ScubaMan | March 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. Some Facts About Argentine Neo-Colonialism:

    1. The Falklanders’ right to self-determination, by any existential, international measure, is longstanding and inviolable. Generations of English settlers have established a solid residential ‘fact on the ground’ that withstands Argentina’s attempt to delegitimize their history.

    2. Argentina’s claim is wrapped in the pitiful record of her brazen aggression and its bloody failure. The stench of that campaign to take by military force what it did not possess, clings to its pious appeal to legal ownership.

    3. Ironically, when Argentina rants about British “colonialism,” she is willfully blind to her own hypocritical desire to bring the English population of the Falklands under neo-colonial rule.

    4. Argentina’s ongoing claim to the Falklands has proven to be nothing more than a foreign policy distraction used to arouse knee-jerk, patriotic fervour whenever the country’s current domestic policy begins to unravel.

    Comment by Gottlieb | March 7, 2013 | Reply

    • Is there some set legal time limit for adverse possession to become legitimate then?

      Would that then apply going forward as well? If China can seize South Korea and keep it for some number of generations that’s just OK?

      Comment by aletho | March 7, 2013 | Reply

      • The question is just how far BACK do you want to go?!… Most if not all existing countries exist today, wholly or partially, on territory that they conquered in the past…

        The territory in question have been continuously ruled by Britain since 1833… Now, you can claim that this rule wouldn’t have been accepted today but back then, that’s how it was done…

        Now, you can also claim that this British shouldn’t be accepted today based on the above but you’ll be opening a whole can of worms because many borders have changed in these past 179 years…

        Well, possibly you have a reasoned argument as to why this rectification of (alleged) past wrong should be limited to the case of the Falklands but I doubt it will hold water…

        Comment by ScubaMan | March 7, 2013 | Reply

      • If Argentina can whine about the Falklands’ distant past, then the Philippines have every legal right to whine about the US seizure of Guam. Forget the ridiculous So. Korea analogy– China has already invaded and subjugated Tibet. Is that just OK?

        Comment by Gottlieb | March 7, 2013 | Reply

        • Are you defending US possession of Guam???

          Comment by aletho | March 8, 2013 | Reply

          • Would you rather have Guam go back to Spanish control?!… I asked you before and I’m asking you again: where exactly do you draw the line?!… How far back do you think we should go?!…

            Comment by ScubaMan | March 8, 2013 | Reply

          • Your question: “Is there some set legal time limit for adverse possession to become legitimate…?” Guam and The Falklands are islands thousands of miles from the USA and Britain, and both were subjected to “adverse possession.” Do you think Argentina’s ‘repossession’ trick exists in some geographical-historical vacuum?

            Comment by Gottlieb | March 8, 2013 | Reply

            • No, Argentina’s claim does not exist in a vacuum. It is similar to the cases of Hong Kong, Macao, Goa, Zanzibar, etc…

              How long do you suppose that US possession of Guam will continue?

              Comment by aletho | March 8, 2013 | Reply


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