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.


[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. Steve C.

    I remember the 82 war. I was for GB.

    Now I live in Ecuador and I have completely different feelings. The hell with GB!

    Good luck Argentina, win the islands.

    Ecuador will beat you at least once this year in futbol.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lord Nelson

    Nuke Argentina, or claim that it is only 300 miles from the Falklands and therefore belongs to Britain.
    We need our navy spending to go up so this should work out well for that

    February 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. david williams

    Lets see now whether Prime Minister Cameron is as courageous in the defense of the Falklanders as Margaret Thatcher

    February 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    For Argentina to claim that the Falklands are theirs because they are closer than the British Isles would be like Canadians saying Greenland should be taken away from Denmark and given to them.
    What Argentineans cannot seem to understand is that the British military restrained themselves in 1982. They could have struck Argentina itself with airstrikes and bombs. They could have sunk just about every ship in the water outside their ports. There could have easily been 70,000 casualties instead of 724.
    The 1982 invasion was completely aggresive and an act of outright war. Argentineans should be embarrassed for what they tried to do...the fact that some of them look at it as a failed attempt – but worthy of another shot – demonstrates to me that Argentina is not the civilized nation it says it is.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Must be oil there.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MaggieT

    MAggie said it best; "two bald men fighting over a comb".

    February 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. neones

    first of all geographical the flaklands – malvinas belong to argentina,, now Britain expelled the original population from the Falklands-malvinas in 1833 all facts!!

    February 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leo

    Great Britain lucky Papa helped you out or you would have never won that war. Bunch of pirates, what right to a territory 10,000 miles away from home can you possibly have? CNN nice try on spinning the story. I think you mean Great Britain and its economic problems not Argentina, our GDP is growing 9% per year second to China. There are no riots here like in Great Britain,nice try I expect nothing less from MSM.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. iluvvietnam

    We are living in the 21st century and China still illegally invaded two of Vietnam's islands so called Spratly Island and Parcel Island; Truong Sa and Hoang Sa. AS you know China is one of the 5 super power and a UN "Veto" holding authority countries. Come on now...big boy picking on the little boy? Wake up people of the world! We will never be united and live peacefully until some form of aliens from out of this world arrive to baby sit us!

    February 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lord Nelson

    Britain will never give this island up, they wouldn't when it was a rock with 3000 people on it, they certainly won't when there's oil off it.
    Therefore if Argentina want it they will have to be prepared to go to war and get nuked. Their choice

    February 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      I doubt that the U.K. is going to nuke Buenos Aires over this but seriously, the Argentinians are acting really stupid AGAIN.

      This issue was fought over before and clearly settled. The Brits are never going to cave in and Argentina will never be able to throw them out. So from a concerned American to my friends in Argentina I say:

      Basta Ja! No mas! Hace algo differente por favor!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Billy

    Girls, girls, calm down now. Stop pulling hair...

    This a SOCCER fight? EGYPT knows how to have a soccer fight!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eyes Wide Open

    Overseas territories are nothing more than COLONIES. Gibraltar is a colony! Falklands are a colony populated with a transpanted population form Great Britain!! Colonies in the 21st century?? Threat of war?? England is crazy

    February 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fredflintstone

      Someone owns the land for some reason.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky Merlot

      Britain has said many times, that the decision is completely that of the islands' inhabitants. Why don't you ask them yourself, if you're in so much denial, as Argentina seems to be.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • RoboT

      Your argument doesn't make any sense at all – the Falklands aren't overseas – they are right exactly where they are supposed to be.

      The fact that the entire population of the island are British citzens that want to remain British, would make Argentina the colonizer – were they to repeat another forced takeover of the islands population – as they did once before.

      This land is in no way Argentina's, it was discovered – uninhabited only 400 years ago, and it is British, the entire population is British, and its been Britains since 1833.

      Before that it was Spains – not Argentinas.

      The only reason it isn't independent, the people don't want to be independent and the island is too small to realistically protect itself from aggressors (Argentina) if they were to become independent.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      If would be an overseas territory and colony also for Argentina. Or I should say Argentisrael, because they want ethnically cleanse it and settle their own people there.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      "Threat of war?? England is crazy"

      One could make the same statement about Argentina and Senora Presidente Dona Christina! Argentina's sorry little army and navy will be ripped to pieces like the last time and Argentina will take another step backwards. The UK controls the island, the fishing grounds and any possible oil. Like Luke Skywalker says to Jabba in Star Wars, "you can either profit from this or be destroyed"! Those are Argentina's options. Do business with the U.K. on this and make money, or be destroyed.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • smc

      The Argentinians are just a bunch of colonists too.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RockonRock

    I hope for the best and that England will use small, perhaps battlefield nuclear weapons or perhaps biological or nerve agents. I think this would be the best of all possible worlds.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsamattaU

      I think the idea is to try to get the Argies to back off. Tactical nukes or other WMDs will horrify the world and lose whatever sympathy the Brits have. Not needed. A sonar ping or two from a sub should scare the Argentine Navy back into port, maybe whack a few Argentine airbase runways with some conventional cruise missiles and it's all over.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Don't be absurd. Why would the Brits use WMD's. The Royal Navy will kick butt just as before.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fredflintstone

    I say let them play it out in soccer match................................................

    February 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capitan Justicia

      The brits would be scared and run away from the great Lionel Messi

      February 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. elenore

    If they are British than why are they relying on Argentina for services they don't pay into?Argentina doesn't have any obligation to support them.Let them get services from Britain than.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsamattaU

      elenore, dear... do you think that the Argies have been sending food, equipment etc, to the Falklands for free? Exporters in Argentina have been SELLING

      February 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16