[Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET] Amid escalating tensions over the Falkland Islands, Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner accused Great Britain of militarizing the South Atlantic and said Tuesday her country would file a protest at the United Nations.
Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
"We're going to file a protest," Fernandez added.
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[Initial post, 12:14 p.m. ET] Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has announced plans for what local media are calling a major announcement Tuesday amid escalating tensions between Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.
Kirchner is gathering ruling and opposition party politicians, diplomats and veterans from the 1982 war between Britain and Argentina over the South Atlantic islands, which Argentina calls Las Malvinas, the English-language Buenos Aires Herald reported. Her announcement is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET).
Speculation in recent days has been that Kirchner will cut the Falklands air link to the South American mainland by banning the airline LAN Chile from using Argentinian airspace to fly to the islands from Chile. The Saturday flights are the only scheduled air service to the Falklands and carry fresh food as well as passengers, Britain's Sky News reports.
Argentina already bans Falklands ships from its ports, an action joined by other South American and Caribbean nations.
"If the LAN Chile flight is cancelled, it would be pretty difficult to resist the already credible thesis that there is an economic blockade of the civilian population of the Falklands," a senior British diplomat in the region was quoted as saying by the UK's Guardian newspaper last week.
Though Britain won the 1982 war, expelling an Argentinian military force, Argentina still claims the territory, which has been under British rule since 1833, as its own. Britain maintains that the 2,500 residents of the Falklands have the right to determine their allegiance, and so far that has been staunchly British.
"We support the Falklands' right to self-determination, and what the Argentinians have been saying recently I would argue is actually far more like colonialism, because these people want to remain British, and the Argentinians want them to do something else," British Prime Minister David Cameron told UK lawmakers last month.
Tensions between London and Buenos Aires were raised even higher this month when Britain sent the second in line to the throne, Prince William, to the Falklands as a military helicopter pilot.
"Prince William is coming ... as a member of the armed forces of his country," Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The Argentinian people regret that the royal heir is coming to the soil of the homeland with the uniform of the conqueror and not with the wisdom of a statesman who works in the service of peace and dialogue between nations."
The prince's deployment comes as Britain is making other moves to support its 1,700 personnel at the Mount Pleasant military complex in the Falklands.
Britain is sending the sophisticated destroyer HMS Dauntless to the Falkland Islands.
The Royal Navy is sending its top-of-the-line warship, the destroyer HMS Dauntless, to the South Atlantic in the spring on what the British Defense Ministry calls a routine deployment, according to British media reports, including the BBC. Additionally, a British nuclear submarine is also headed to the Falklands, according to a report in the UK's Daily Mail.
So why, besides supporting the Falklands' inhabitants, does Britain want to hang on to the islands? There are lucrative fishing grounds around the islands as well as a growing oil drilling industry.
Argentina, of course, has economic interests, but analysts say the current standoff has much to do with internal politics.
"The government is being squeezed from lots of different areas, so one way to distract from the economic problems facing the country is to raise the Malvinas issue," Mark Jones, an expert in Latin American politics at Rice University in Texas, told CNN. "It's one of the few issues outside football that you can get universal consensus on."
And in Argentina, football, or soccer, is helping fuel the tensions.
When the season kicks off Friday in the top flight of Argentinian soccer, the league will be named Crucero General Belgrano (the cruiser General Belgrano) after the Argentinian warship sunk by a British submarine during the conflict 30 years ago. Argentina lost 323 sailors in the sinking, almost half of its total casualties during the war. Britain puts its casualties in the 74-day 1982 war at 255 troops and civilians.
In a report Tuesday on MercoPress.com, the South Atlantic News Agency said that Argentina's top soccer league is run by the government, which also owns its TV rights. All games are broadcast free, and advertising is often used to promote government programs, according to the report.
If the Argentinian government is pushing its Falklands claims on domestic TV, it's using a different media to put out a message in the Falklands themselves, according to Time.com. Islanders report receiving harassing phone calls, e-mails and even tweets, Time reports.
"It's intimidating to be woken in the night to someone shouting at you in Spanish," Lisa Watson, editor of the islands' newspaper The Penguin News, told Time.
Read and watch more CNN coverage of the Falklands:
Questions and answers on the Falklands tensions
The Falklands in photos high-res gallery
Venezuela, Bolivia leaders call for sanctions against Great Britain
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Argentinian president sworn in for second term
Are they STILL on about this? Argie, you lost, just move on. Can I borrow a facepalm banasy?
England will find it expensive to support a colony 8,000 miles away.
By all means, if Argentina can find any LIVING Argentinians born in the Falklands before 1833, they should be allowed back. Otherwise, bite me.
I'd tap that president for oil.
As 58 year old sk@nks go, she's not bad.
People of the World,
Well, it just goes to prove, do not cross a HOT LATINA or she will cut you man.
She's not Latina. She's South American.
This is ridiculous, this note only shows the british position which omits lot of information...
the UK is since 1833 because they stole it from argentina, in 1833 they expelled the argentine people from the islands and they trasplanted population in there...
Why doesnt CNN tell that? besides there is no argentinian explaining their point, so its too sensationalist this note...
Plenty of territory has changed hands in previous centuries through warfare. That doesn't make it right or wrong. It's just reality. UK handing the Falklands over to Argentina based on an event almost 2 centuries ago makes as much sense as all of us white people in North America going to Europe (mostly the British Isles) and leaving the land to the natives. Not practical, to say the least. Not fair to say the most, considering most of us were born here. Maybe the majority of the Argentinian population needs to go to Spain where they belong, and not worry about the Falklands.
lol. You need to study your Falklands history. The British did not steal it from Argentina:
By those standards the U.S. should give half the western states back to Mexico. These events happened at a time in history over which we have no control short of inventing a time machine and going back and changing the events. The map of the world has changed throughout history and it is where it is.
The island changed hands 179 years ago. Say that out loud - ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-NINE years ago. Get over it. If everyone is going to go that far back about territory their ancestors lost and demand it be given back, the world map is going to look a lot different.
Come on, after a certain amount of time, you just have to let it go.
isnt you in favour of self determination? what about hte self determination of the people that were living in the islands...
besides the UK left the islands in 1774 and spain took control of both islands...and the UK never said anything about it...
argentina claimed the islands in 1820 and the uk recognize our independence in 1825...you need to study history
The Argentinian claim to the Falklands is is full of inaccuracies and misrepresentation. Argentina dropped its claim to the Falklands by ratifying the Convention of Settlement in 1850. End of Story.
Sounds like the UK will be taking over the argentinan mainland soon.....Good Luck!....
Just goes to show you that is only takes 30 years to forget that you had your hind-end handed to you by the British.
Argentina never handed the islands to the uk...
Wonder if this time Argentina would have a compent general who know how to fight high intensity wars. In the 80's there were many blunders that pretty much gave the Brits a victory.
the Uk was nothing without the NATO behind...in the 80' wars was the war after the World War II where more british died...
NATO was not involved in retaking the islands. It was a purely British campaign. Vulcan bombers ( British ) were used for the initial attack on the runway etc.. British ships, Harrier jets and submarines were all used but no NATO troops or equipment were.
This time things are different. They now have air defences stationed on the islands including the latest generation of fighter jet, the Eurofighter / Typhoon. A very deadly ship is also on the way which has cutting edge air defences and is designed to do the job of an aircraft carrier by providing close air cover. It can engage multiple targets, shoot down missiles and planes and also engage other ships.
Oh and there is a nuclear submarine on its way, a newer model than the one which sank your football league, erm ship...
If you were an honourable country you would be spending you time removing the thousands of mines you laid across the island rendering parts of it inaccessible.
Ghandi was right.
Q. When is Canada going to invade St. Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago 12 miles off its coast.
Why? Because Canada is a civilized country.
This is mental. Why oh why does Argentina want to bully this small island population into surrendering to annexation? The Argentine government are making a big mistake if they think the UK government will abandon these islanders. It is morally indefensible to blockade food and other supplies from being flown to the families who were born on these islands. The islands belong to the islanders and they choose to be associated with Britain.
An economic boycott is about all the Argentines can do about the Falklands. I doubt they would want to get into another military engagement with the British.
Politicians shifting focus to a silly issue to deflect criticism and focus on real issues? Who would have thunk it?
I wonder if 7 billion of us will fit in Olduvai. Because, we all need to go back where we came from. If you are living anywhere else, you don't belong there.
Argentina has a fair claim on the sovereignity of the islands (Malvinas or Falklands). They are within its continental and sea territory in South America, and certainly they were in Argentina's hands before the British took them. Britain has possessed many colonies before and has given them back over time (Hong Kong, just to name only one). I think a mid-ground solution is possible if no strict positions exist on each side. Those who prefer to be Bristish can keep their condition or return to Britain with major benefits for them provided in agreement with both countries while Argentina takes over the management and sovereignity of the islands. This could be done also as a form of transition over time as Britain has done in many former colonies.
The Falkland Islands are not within the Argentinian nautical miles, they are on international waters. If what you are trying to imply is true, then I guess Cuba should belong to the U.S. because of its proximity. The Brits have been on the island circa 1700's, only to "recalim" the territory in 1833.
Argentina has a history of claiming territory which does not belong to her. Uruguay has been (unfortunately due to its size, physically and economically) the biggest victim when Argentina decided to claim Martin Garcia Island (within Uruguay's nautical territory) as theirs, and in exchange gave Uruguay Juncal Island (which is even closer to Uruguay).
Unfortunately Uruguay has always ended up doing what Argentina wants because of size in everyway. Although the previous Uruguayan president (Vazquez) was in contact with Washington for back up on the resolution (by international court) of a blocked bridge blocked by Argentina escalating tensions.
This would be the same as another country taking possesion of Long Island, N.Y. from the U.S.A, and giving in return Manhattan Island to the U.S.A.
ARGENTINA IS AN ARROGANT AND RACIST COUNTRY, EVEN IF THEY ARE DYING OF STARVATION, THEY STILL WOULD PRETEND AS IF THE WORLD OWES THEM SOMETHING.
Uruguayan, eres un traidor Latinoamericano, hijo de p....!!!
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