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

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soundoff (588 Responses)
  1. Uruguayan

    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.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky Merlot

      There folks, listen to someone that knows the political reality that is South America!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Wow perhaps its true what my Peruvian wife says...everybody in S. America hates Argentina (and Chile)!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      Uruguayan you need to say thanks, remember Argentina agreed with Brasil than Uruguay can be an independen country tu put something in the middle 😉 BTW When Uruguay is going to give something to their citizens to stop cross the river to work, eat, have medical care and free education 😉

      February 8, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Uruguayan

    That's how they are, then they go crying.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Thomas Bjoerklund

    Argentina is an old banana republic and it will always be a banana republic. Who cares about what the aps in the djungle thinks? No one...

    February 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      just talking about BANANAS, the illegals Britons have many days than can eat one, can you sen a box via Royal Mail :))

      February 8, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Kirchner wants the Falklands. Heard it before. Saddam wanted Iran, Adolf wanted Czechoslovakia, Benito wanted Ethiopia. Bad leaders will try to hide their failings by whipping up nationalism and distorting history/geography, and facts. The UN needs to set a clear example this kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Argentina wants to go to the UN – fine. I bet the same countries that will support Argentina are the same ones that veto'd the UN measures in Syria last week. We know who they are. Always someone in the group that "does not play well with others". If Argentina wants to be lumped in with the twits of the world, instead of being on the right side – well it is decision time.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • nbgb

      No, Argentina will have support from Chavez, Ortega, the Castros, ans possibly Correa. and Morales. They are all corrupt dictators.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. qularknoo

    Are there any Argentinians on the islands? have the islands ever been owned by the current Argentinian government?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky Merlot

      In a word....NO

      February 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. excitingman

    can't wait for a new war that we dont have to pay for, woot!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MikeyW

    If my memory serves me correctly didnt the British have to use a luxury cruise ship to ferry troops over there in 1982? Yes, i remember laughing hysterically at that.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Capitan Justicia

    Let's go Argentina!!! All Latinos are behind you! Imperialst Brits, get out of Latin America!!!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky Merlot

      Read your history before making accusations of imperialism. Argentina has NEVER had ownership of the Falklands. If they attempt another invasion they will be breaking international law and will be repelled. This rhetoric from Kirchner is just a political distraction from her own internal problems (as mentioned in the article).

      February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      All latinos are not behind you. In fact, my wife who is south american, says Chile and Argentina are the most despised countries that nobody else likes.....Basta Ja!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Yes, it is imperialism. Argentine, a country of 40 millions is having a blockade agains their tiny neighbor of 3000. Sure Argentina can be called an imperialist agressor in this case.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Veritas

    Hugo Chavez recently announced that Venezuelan forces would fight alongside Argentina against the British if it comes to war. Now I REALLY hope this escalates into a military conflict, so that loud-mouthed Venezuelan gorilla can be taken down a few pegs when he wakes up one morning to find his capital city in ruins.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      If that happens then guess what? The US Navy would offer to assist the Royal Navy, not that the Brits could not beat both those countries alone. And Chavez will be dead meat!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      That is funny. Chavez wants to fight for Argentina to have islands 300 miles from the cost of Argentina.
      Why does not he want to fight with Netherlands for Aruba which is only 15 miles from the coast of Venezuela ?

      February 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Too Funny

    Is this Argentinian president a muslim?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Hurts

      Knuckle head.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leopold

      They read their US Presidents well. The reason Britain won the Falklands war in 1982 was because they had enormous logistic and technical support from the US. Initially they were unable to neutralize the exocet missiles and were losing. This time it is doubtful that Obama will get involved, especially since it is British Imperialism involved.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky Merlot

      Get over it Leopold! Yes, the Brits did use US missiles but no manpower as, although, the Argentinian's had French made Exocet missiles and Mirage planes, France and the EEC gave Britain political support, as did the UN, Commonwealth and even Chile! so it's doubtful that Argentina could have sustained a prolonged conflict.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Juan Malambo

    That sovereignty of the islands was transferred to Argentina from Spain upon independence, a principle known as uti possidetis juris.
    That Spain never renounced sovereignty over the islands, even when a British settlement existed.
    That Great Britain abandoned its settlement in 1776, and formally renounced sovereignty in the Nootka Sound Convention. Argentina has always claimed the Falklands, and never renounced its claim.
    That the re-establishment of British rule on the Falklands (referred to as an "act of force" by Argentina) was illegal under international law, and this has been noted and protested by Argentina since 17 June 1833.
    That the principle of self-determination is not applicable since the current inhabitants are not aboriginal and were brought to replace the Argentine population (see below).
    That the Argentine population was expelled by an "act of force" in 1833.
    That the islands are located on the continental shelf facing Argentina, which would give them a claim, as stated in the 1958 UN Convention on the Continental Shelf.§[
    That Great Britain was looking to extend its territories in Americas as shown with the British invasions of the Río de la Plata years earlier.

    § Although a signatory to the 1958 convention, Argentina never ratified the convention. The 1958 Convention was superseded by 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ratified by Argentina in 1995.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth Hurts

      Assuming that this is all accurate, thanks for this information – it was helpful to understand Argentina's side of the dispute.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      Spain never had sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Even when the Spanish Empire controlled southern Argentina, almost all immigrants were European, especially British. They slaughtered and imprisoned the natives. Currently only between 6-8% of the entire population has native blood. This "Argentinian population" was displaced by British is a bunch of none sense. Prior to the Europeans, the island was never inhabited.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Like It Is

    Don't worry. Soon the broke down not so Great Britain won't be able to afford the oil to send it's ships down there. Imagine, the fools try to hold on to a stolen rock while their own island is sinking under the weight of a third world invasion. Been to the formerly Great Britain lately? It looks like the worse section of the Bronx or Brooklyn. They must be sorry they aren't speaking German now.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • notanapologist

      Don't worry – Argentinian politicians pull this chestnut out every time things are going badly and they need a distraction. Like now for example. All the rest is rhetoric....

      February 7, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sean

    Most people are saying to let the people that live there choose .... If only there was something similar in place for the NATIVE Americans right?

    February 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Big Kahuna

      injuns control the reservations, so they have a place. Too bad they love the bottle more than any sense of improving thier lives.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Uruguayan

    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.
    FALKLAND ISLAND RIGHTFULLY BELONGS TO THE BRITS !!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. WDinDallas

    Argentina was such a pretty place. I will miss it. Nuke'em Elizabeth!

    February 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
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