February 7th, 2012
07:15 PM ET

Argentina to file protest against Great Britain at U.N.

[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

"I have instructed our chancellor to formally present before the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly this militarization of the South Atlantic, which implies a great risk for international safety," she said during a speech in Buenos Aires.

"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:

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/02/01/qmb-intv-rising-falklands-tension.cnn"%5D

Questions and answers on the Falklands tensions

The Falklands in photos high-res gallery

Venezuela, Bolivia leaders call for sanctions against Great Britain

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2012/02/01/pkg-foster-falklands-prince-william-duty.cnn"%5D

No cancer found in Argentinian president

Argentinian president sworn in for second term

soundoff (588 Responses)
  1. stevo

    Right to choose what? they are occupying Argentinian soil. Imagine if illigal aliens got together in California and decided to change flags....... or somehting like that. By the way the Argentinian president just got re elected with over 50% of the votes.So the government doesn't need to make a show to get the people together. UK has more social problems than Argentina.
    .

    February 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      So ,we are occupying Native American land just as the Spanish occupy Mexico.Land has been taken from the weakest from the beginning .We are the only animals who want to control that which we can not.Disease was used as a weapon to kill the inhabitants.We had a working Democracy here among the Native Americans but we killed them out and put them under ours which is not a real Democracy.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • PacerLJ35

      Occupying Argentinian soil? The islands have NEVER belonged to Argentina. Argentina became an independent country in 1816. Britain claimed the uninhabited Falklands in the 16th century. Spain developed a limited colony on the island while Britain looked the other way (although Britain never ceded their claim to the islands, they were preoccupied with other things at the time, such as the US revolutionary war, etc). When Argentina became independent, they too attempted a small limited colony on the island, although the UK allowed this under loose terms. When it became clear to the UK that the Argentines intended to develop their colony for commerical gain and to potentially make claims on the islands, the British shut down their colony (although many Argentines remained on the islands after the British re-asserted their authority).

      So somehow, because Argentina had a small, limited colony on the island for a couple of decades, that's supposedly a more legit claim than Britain having claims and involvement with the islands for 400+ years? What world are you from?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAM

      These islands have never belonged to Argentina. Pres. Kircher is having real issues and this is a method to pull the people of Argentina together. Too sad many fine Argentinians will needlessly die. The Brits tried to pull their punches the first time around. They will not do so this time. The HMS Dauntless is not a playtoy.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • BritGuy

      @Cam You are so right, if the Argies try it again they will pay very very dearly.

      Argentina is a like a jerk in a bar, he starts a fight, you put him down once, if he gets up and starts again you put him down permanently.

      This time there will be no kid gloves, no pulled punches, no multiple offers to surrender and save their troops (something the Argentinian government didn't give a damn about)

      February 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jorge washinsen

    Seems there might be some German blood in the mix from back a ways. Might not be blowing smoke.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Pete/Ark

    OK, by thier own logic Argentina (and most of the rest of Latin America) belongs to Spain. They should all give themselves back(Brazil,of course to Portugal)to the rightful owners. As far as the Prince is concerned , his uncle got a good combat reputation there in '82. Good Luck Argentina (we'll heed the song and not cry for you).

    February 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jorge washinsen

    Since the Brits possess it now why not move all their people (and the sheep) out and make a nuke testing ground, starting imediately.Maybe in our life time we would not hear about this sore spot anymore,at least till you would require lights to read again at night on the island.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jorge washinsen

    History has changed constantly from the beginining and will continue to do so.We are only a few pages in history.Does not take volumes for 236 years when you realize some are thousands of years old and they have managed to screw up the world and still have not settled their problems.Dumb and dumber.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keyser

    Her announcement will likely be that she is going back to table dancing. Or that she never stopped.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Reparate-NJNP

    TeaPotter, Fred K, Drag555, et al: Why do you (and MANY other posters here) keep blaming African Americans for the British-Argentine rift over the Falkland Islands? The article above concerns a border-dispute issue in South America, and yet you all have to somehow tie it in with oppressing American minorities by spewing your hate & racism. And why against Blacks in particular? Is CNN even moderating this board for such irrelevant (and obviously inappropriate) comments??? But since you asked, I'll answer your collective question: It's common knowledge that *white* colonialism caused the Falkland problem - it is People of Color that are now cleaning up the mistakes and getting this region back on track. You're welcome.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete/Ark

    @Capitan Justicia : All of the Latin American countries you refer to are actually colonies of Spain(except Brazil) and should renounce the illegal uprising of 1832 and repatriate themselves .

    February 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Juan Peron

    Argentina: The country that worshipped Eva Peron.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      to paraphrase a song...we won't cry for you argentina...

      February 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. God

    Somehow, the idea of Venezuela's Chavez being behind this does not seem too far fetched.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      nah...he isn't that bright

      February 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jorge washinsen

    Adios,it is supper time.We have to go dip a tator.Soup is thin but is stronger than our union is now.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. al martins

    why not give argentina back to spain after all it belonged to them around 150 years ago.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      YOU get it ! I've made that point since this farce started

      February 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bad Dog

      Not the same thing. The Malvinas (Falklands) were claimed by Argentina in 1806 or thereabouts, and the British subsequently seized it from them. Argentina just wants what belongs to it under international law. In fact for many decades, Argentina has protested this situation, and the UN has requested that the OK negotiate with Argentina over the return of its property. Not surprisingly, the UK has never agreed to discuss the issue. But the next time Argentina seizes the Malvinas, the outcome will be very different.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Slimy Limes Stink

    Sink the Dauntless, send it to the depths of the sea! Avenge the ARA General Belgrano!

    February 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      You sink a ship of Americas closest Allie. You won't just have Britain to deal with. Believe me if the US gets involved again we never leave. Proofed throughout history. An Argentina is no match for the 1 and 2 largest navies in the world. And not to mention the 1st and 3rd best armies.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CAM

      Good luck with that...

      February 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rick1948

    Seems like the last time the Argentinians screwed around with the Brits over the Falkland Islands, they had a heavy cruiser become a reef. They might want to remember that.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      and a Prince was flying combat then too

      February 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bad Dog

      Actually, the British lost about a 1000 marines and came darned close to losing. The Argentineans have learned a lesson and replaced their weaponry.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • imikem

      Casualties, according to Wikipedia: United Kingdom – A total of 255 British servicemen and 3 female Falklands Island civilians were killed during the Falklands War.

      The same article gave a figure of 27 Royal Marines dead. You may want to do at least a trivial amount of fact checking before tossing out a ludicrous figure like 1000 KIA.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. zoosphere

    If two countries are fighting for a territory, why is the country which is trying to take the territory to it offering the airline service till now? For me, the two sides are trying to show the issue to the world intentionally, but the island is better to be belonged to the closer country, in my opinion.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • FM

      Alaska is closer to Canada than the continental US, should we give Alaska to the Canadians?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoosphere

      Does Canada want Alaska or Canada want to attack U.S.?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jocq

      zoos, the US bought Alaska from Russia during the shoot em up pawdna days for a better price than any Wallmart would give ya.The Russians Im sure are still kicking themselves in the pants over that give away. The Russians must have really needed those $ orange Bald Eagles(Franklins)at the time.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • zoosphere

      Ya, it must have been a good buy. The management of the land might not be so easy cause of topography and its large size. I used to like to go to Walmart. It was pretty big and largely open. Russian might not have wanted to be so closer to American??

      February 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jocq

      FM, lets pretend that ppl in Quebec or Alberta are not happy campers in Canada, are ya willing to trade? Give ya either one of the two provinces for Alaska and Vermont. Deal?

      February 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
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