Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Has It All Wrong

Today the Guardian published an open letter by Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, urging UK Prime Minister David Cameron to recommence talks for the handover of the Falkland Islands, which she refers to as Las Malvinas. This brief correspondence, timed to appear as an advertisement in the Guardian’s print edition (p. 25) on the 180-year anniversary of the re-establishment of British rule on the islands, rehashes tired accusations of continued colonialism but fails to mention either sovereignty or self-determination.

She props her claim upon 48-year old UN Resolution 2065, waving it as a flag of transnational support for Argentina’s claim. However, this rather old but well-meant resolution, like most UN edicts, doesn’t say much at all except to promote talks in the hope of calming the waters. Being seen to say something, whilst not saying anything of great import. The letter even copies in Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary-general of the UN. On the sovereignty question, the UN Resolution that Kirchner is clinging to like a deflating buoy explicitly states that these discussion and both governments must take into consideration “the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)”. It seems the UK is alone in this particular concern.

This 212-word piece of showmanship highlights that Kirchner is clearly not insensible to the impending referendum on March 10th-11th 2013 in which the 3000-strong population of the Falklands will decide their own fate, despite Argentina’s unwillingness to recognise its validity. In between spiky remarks on the geographic distance between the Falklands and the UK (8700 miles), Kirchner fails to recognise a point made by many others in the past including myself, its not so much geographic distance as cultural difference that often matters most, and in that regard, Argentina couldn’t be further away from the islanders.


Photo credit: Expectativa Online

9 thoughts on “Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Has It All Wrong”

  1. Islanders are an implanted British population. Please, read the argentinian version of the islands history. In Argentina, people in the streets is very attached to the “Malvinas”, but they can’t live there.

    1. Well Mr Alighieri.
      Everyone to a very large degree is “Implanted”as you call it.
      This fact is largely irrelevant at this point.
      Agentine personal landed in South Georgia,then raised their flag….Naughty naughty !
      Luckily,they were seen & got their butts handed to them by a small but we’ll trained unit of Royal Marines.

      By this time a forceful military take over of the Falklands was underway to once more raise your flag over English soil..Naughty,Naughty…big mistake,as the world’s found out.
      THIS IS ENGLAND,it’s that simple,No agenda.

  2. There have been generations of Falklanders with British origin living on the islands.

    Regardless of the disputed history, it is their current concerns which should matter (if you believe in democracy).

    Is there a refugee camp of suffering ex-Malvinians in Argentina who yearn for their ancestral home after all these years? I honestly don’t know, but I think we’d have heard of them before now.

    More likely it just some nationalist rabble rousing to distract the masses from what is happening in their own country.
    Or option two, just a resource/land grab with clumsy rhetoric.

  3. I have read the argentinian version, but I agree with Tio (as you might guess) – when Argentina sought independence from Spain they assumed the Malvinas were theirs, which is not true. The British have had near constant control since the late 1600s. Argentina only had a brief moment in the sun in the 1830s – a failed invasion like the 1982 attempt.

    As I argued briefly in my other article – – this could very well be, and likely is, a diversionary tactic. In recent months, Argentina’s financial position has suffered somewhat and the government’s position has been criticised for nationalising energy companies without compensation. Any excuse to unite the nation, which is commonly done against something or someone else ie creating a common enemy, is usually the fall back tactic of governments in trouble.

    As Tio points out, the most vital issue is the will of the Islanders. Those born there should have a say in their sovereignty. Its not just land – its people. Do ‘people in the streets’ say they feel ‘very attached’ to the “Malvinas” but not the Malvineros?

  4. Good post Jamiesha.

    Pietro is correct however about the feeling ‘on the streets’; however, these are people who are not in possession of all the facts, in fact I am sure they are being fed lies and half-truths for obvious reasons.

    1. Thanks Span Ows.

      I don’t doubt that ‘people on the streets’ truly believe what they do, especially with so little factual information being made available for people to make up their own minds. Space permitting, what I would have liked to add is that we need greater self-reflection all round as to why these issues are propagated, what interests are being played out or hidden through this, what do other/objective histories say, and most importantly – why do I feel this kinship? Do I feel this or am I being made to feel it? This is essentially what I explore in my previous article on the Falklands in the discussion of how national identities and nationalisms are constructed.

  5. Could not the demands of the Argentinian government be seen as a form of colonialism. In the past the colonial wars were wars of independence not trading one colonial power for another?

    1. Christopher – without a doubt, this is one of the criticisms frequently levelled against de Kirchner. Without harping on about my own biases, countries often fail to see the hypocrisy in their actions or the POV of another, especially in matters of sovereignty. Nationalism is a thoroughly blinding sentiment.

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