Falklands row: Argentina's outrageous to letter to UK exposed - 'You are colonialists'

Falklands row: Argentina's outrageous to letter to UK exposed - 'You are colonialists'

THE FALKLAND ISLANDS dispute has driven a wedge between UK and Argentina - and the South American country wrote a letter to Britain hitting out at its "colonialism".

The Argentine President at the time – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner - sent a letter to the UK which was published in British newspapers. In it she demanded that then-Prime Minister David Cameron hand sovereignty over the Falkland Islands over to Argentina and accused the UK of colonialism. The full letter was addressed to Mr Cameron. It was sent from Buenos Aires, Argentina, back on January 3, 2013.

The letter read: “One hundred and eighty years ago on the same date, January 3rd, in a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism, Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands, which are situated 14,000km (8700 miles) away from London.

“The Argentines on the Islands were expelled by the Royal Navy and the United Kingdom subsequently began a population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule.

“Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity.

“The Question of the Malvinas Islands is also a cause embraced by Latin America and by a vast majority of peoples and governments around the world that reject colonialism.

“In 1960, the United Nations proclaimed the necessity of "bringing to an end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations".

“In 1965, the General Assembly adopted, with no votes against (not even by the United Kingdom), a resolution considering the Malvinas Islands a colonial case and inviting the two countries to negotiate a solution to the sovereignty dispute between them.

“This was followed by many other resolutions to that effect.

“In the name of the Argentine people, I reiterate our invitation for us to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations.”

It was signed off by Ms Fernández de Kirchner, President of the Argentine Republic.

The letter sparked fury in Britain, with the UK Government remaining firm in its stance that the Falkland Islanders "are British and have chosen to be so".

The Foreign Office added: "They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter," she added.

"This is a fundamental human right for all peoples.

"There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend.

"The islanders can't just be written out of history."

Mr Cameron and Ms Fernandez had clashed in June 2012, seven months before the letter was sent.

They met at the G20 summit, and the Prime Minister rejected her demand for negotiations over the sovereignty of the islands and told her that she should respect the result of a referendum.

The Argentine president had earlier raised her demands at the United Nations, appearing at the annual meeting of the UN decolonisation committee on the 30th anniversary of the end of Argentine occupation.

She used the occasion to reiterate Argentina's opposition to any more wars and to criticise Mr Cameron's decision to mark the day by flying the Falklands flag over 10 Downing Street.

In December 2012, Argentina protested at Britain's decision to name part of Antarctica, Queen Elizabeth Land.

A formal protest note was given to the then British ambassador, John Freeman, in Buenos Aires.

The area, which makes up around a third of the British Antarctic Territory, is also claimed by the South American country.

www.prensa.cancilleria.gob.ar es un sitio web oficial del Gobierno Argentino