[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
No cancer found in Argentinian president
Argentinian president sworn in for second term
In this day and age it is sad to read some of the comments on here about kicking asses, having a war and killing. Perhaps some people don’t have anything worth living for, have not lost someone in a war or served themselves on the frontline. Not even the best movies can give you ½ an idea how tough it really is.
I really hope to god that no war does arise but if it does I guarantee you 2 things:
One is that Britain will not start it over this Island; our moves are defensive and sensible given the words coming from Argentina.
Two Britain will win. When we have our backs against the wall you will find out what we really are made of. It is in really tough times that even we the British realise why the word Great appears before Britain. Yes there are times when some of us question this. I actually hope for your sakes you do not have to find out via a war. Our country might have a lot of problems of its own right now, but whose don’t if we are all honest.
Let’s hope common sense prevails there is already enough death in this world.
" "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."" did Argentina hire Bagdad Bob or possibly outsource their propaganda to North Korea.
Is it just me or is President Fernandez a fri ckin MILF?!?!?!
It's just you.
With that face? It's just you.
A few too many facelifts and Collagen shots for my taste, but whatever turns you on...
Is it just me or does Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner look like Penelope Cruz??? Pretty hot me thinks! lol
Yeah. Penelope Cruz in thirty years, maybe.
She looks like a three decades older Nancy Pelosi.
if we revert everything back to the precolonial days, then a lot of mix races would not be here in the world today. anyway, i say let the islanders vote and if they choose to become an independent country, it's their right. if i was an indigenous falklander, i would say who gave argentina the right to annex my birthland into theirs just because we next to their borders. i call that an invasion from a stronger power just like argentina crying foul at a more powerful british.
There were no indigenous Falklanders. The Falklands were settled by the British when Spain owned Argentina. The islands were NEVER part of the Republic of Argentina and no Argentinians have ever lived there.
Wrong. There was an Argentinean presence, which was expelled by the British in 1833. Luis Vernet was governor of the East Malvina from 1824 to 1833.
The Brits will be happy to give the General Belgrano some company "down there."
So then by Argentinian logic – since Cuba was once a US territory for 4 years after the Spanish-American War (ONLY 113 years ago) AND its only 90 miles off our coast ..... then Cuba should belong to the United States – regardless of what Cubans may or may not want.
Yup that's exactly what's it like. Argentina doesn't have a leg to stand on with their position.
Wrong. To be the same Cuba should be on the possession of a country several thousand miles away. Like Russia. Wait, that happened! And the US established a air and naval blockade. And also invaded de Island, and lost. Yes, it's the same.
England vs Argentina, home and home legs, winner on aggregate takes the Falklands. Come on, avoids war, and would make for great TV.
Don't the Argies ever learn? I think a big a$$ whipping is in the cards.
Could a perfect time for this if Iran situation continues on a path to war. Britian spreading its fleet in two directions. The dummies of the world sensing opputunity to make gains when the world powers want to decrease military spending. Now the great world powers need to expand military spending again creating a wider gap between the 1st class powers and the 2nd rate powers.
Gee, the last great vestage of British Imperial might. The sun now sets on the British Empire, but at least they still have the Falklands!
what a prize for the imperialist regime.
You forget assorted British possesions, such as Gibraltar, the islands of Ascension, St. Helena, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda, to name a few, fool.
If it weren't for the people living there I'd give it up. Oil exploration has turned up dusters and we have plenty of sheep in the Isles. The cost to maintain the Falklands is several billions of sterling per annum.......my tax quid at work.
I'd do her
find a snake under a rock – she probably would not do you.
perhaps if she wore a bag
bet you'd do Pelosi too you hillbilly
As an American, I fully support the UK in this. More importantly, I fully support the folks that actually live on the island. If they want to remain British, than so be it. If Argentina wishes to starve them into submission, then they need to be dealt with.
wow – how suprising that americans would support anglo imperialism – get BP to set up the Oil platforms...
As an America, I oppose the British occupation of Falkland. The world has not forgotten the millions of civilian deaths plundering of the wealth and occupation of half the world by Britishers during the colonial era. These were crimes against humanity that no civilized person can deny. The British occupation of Falkland is just an occupation. It cannot be justified by any means.
That's funny, coming from an American.
Maybe the United States should invade and colonize it with all the illegals from South America who have destroyed our economy and cultural unity via their insidious disrespect for the hosts they've parasitically feasted off of for decades...
Puhleez cannot give an American color to his personal views about British occupation of Falkland. I myself is an American and there are millions of Americans like me who oppose this last symbol of British occupation and Britishers' crimes against humanity.
As a Non-American, I do not support the European occupation of North America. It should be returned to the Native Indians, who owned the land long before the white man came.
Well, by that logic Israel should be allowed to annex all the Palestinian territories simply because they took a poll of all of the settlers, and they all want to be part of Israel. Your conclusion doesn't take into consideration whether the British settlers should be there in the first place, or whether it was wrong to settle in another nation's territory.
Faisal...occupation of the Falklands? Really? Do you realize that Argentia was founded in 1816...and that the uninhabited (yes, that means no PEOPLE) Falklands were claimed by the British in the 1600s? Do you realize that the Arginetine position is based on the fact that Britain allowed them to have a small settlement on the island for a few years under loose UK overwatch, and when Britain felt it was in their better interest to reassert their authority over what they had claimed 200 years prior, the Argentines left...and despite nearly 400 years of British claim, the Argintines feel it's theirs because they had a small colony on the islands for about 20 years?
But the British expelled the Argentinian population from the islands when they took them over in the 1800's
Who is this Argentinian population? The Spanish slaughtered or imprisoned the natives in southern Argentina to make way for Europeans. Almost all the people that settled there were European. The British claimed the Falklands long before Argentina became independent from Spain.
Faisal, your history and logic are as poor as your English. The islands were uninhabited until the Europeans arrived and colonized them -so they have NOTHING to do with the colonization/displacement Europeans subjected the rest of the Americas with. The only reason Argentina lays claim to the islands is because they argue the SPANISH saw them before the Brits -i.e. their claim is based on their previous colonial powers' claim. Yeah, that really helps your argument agains imperialism, no? And BTW, this is certainly NOT the "last" vestige of the British empire, as the Brits still have multiple possessions around the world (as do the French, the Danes, etc.) including Gibraltar, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and other territories.
The Britsh did NOT "expell" the Argentine population from the Falklands. Prior to 1816 (when Argentina was founded), there wasn't an "Argentine population". They did start a settlement there, but the British had claimed the islands since 1600 and had looked the other way as French and then Spanish attempted settlements there (most were not successful). The Argentine settlement was allowed with tacit British tolerance, but when it became clear that the Argentines were there primarily to expand their commercial activities (and possibly lay claim to the fisheries and other resources) the British told them to leave.
THAT is the real story.
British are the biggest thieves on earth. They stole everything from every country in the world for 300 years. Go to London Museum, you will find those stolen stuffs. The sun never sets on the British emperor, where does the sun set now? Criminals.
It's "British Empire".
And how are they worse than the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Romans etc...? Empires go back thousands of years.
Note, Argentina has NO claim on this land (Argentina did not even exist as a COUNTRY when the British claimed it hundreds of years ago). Besides, the right to SELF DETERMINATION is at the heart of any democracy. The islanders have spoken, their rights MUST be upheld. Argentina is filled with hypocrites, burning down forests and displacing and killing Indigenous people from the forests, while making ridiculous claims on land that their forefathers don't even believe are true.
You remind me of one of those whining southerners who complains about the civil war like an insipid infantile four year old clinging to long dead playground rivalries. Dwell in the past all you like, this is 2012 and the British no longer rule the earth you incomprehensibly stupid sack of human filth.
Oh you Americans – always talking about sacks
It’s a lucky thing that the British did liberate those items and put them in the British Museum, at least it will get properly looked after there, the people who complain about such things live in countries that have allowed their history to rot and turn to dust.
Prior to the Europeans, the only natives on the Falkland Islands were penguins, no people.
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