Falklands are British,says Argentine critic

Falklands are British,says Argentine critic

Statements by academics and politicians in Argentina that the Falkland Islands are British territory have reopened the fierce sovereignty debate before the local elections.

Beatriz Sarlo, 79, a well-known Argentine literary critic, said that the islands were not part of Argentina and dubbed the 1982 landing of her country’s military forces as “a national psychotic act”. She warned that the territorial dispute was a form of state propaganda, used to stir old antagonisms and a sense of national pride.

The Argentine government has never relinquished its claim over the archipelago. Falkland Islanders voted overwhelminglyin favour of remaining British in a 2013 referendum.

Sarlo’s comments come as the country prepares for congressional elections scheduled for November, when the government’s handling of the pandemic amid a severe economic downturn will be tested.

Observers say that the islands often return to the political debate before elections as a way to distract voters from the real issues at hand. Last month Felipe Sola, the foreign minister, used a United Nations special committee to reiterate calls on both countries to resume negotiations over the islands.

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