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. Ceri

    Argentina has no clear right to disrupt the lives of the people living on the island. And any grounds they thought they had were wiped away by trying to use force of arms. They tried, they got whupped, and that's that for their colonial aspirations I'm afraid.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lord Nelson

    The UK spends the 3rd most in the world on their military after USA and China. The UK spends more than Russia.
    Underestimate this fact at your own risk

    Argentina will lose and there will be no mercy given this time

    February 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CheeseSteak

    Stupid woman. The Brits kicked your stupid a&& once and they do it again. Touch the Faulklands and get your hand cut off.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. citizen

    Allow the natives to open casino and bingo halls.
    Then invite the Argentinians.
    Everyone can go back to not caring.
    Problem solved.

    February 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. umm no

    or your momma

    February 7, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    Why are the British not going to war with Argentina over this? They are a socialist country only interested in taking the Fauklands to steal money from a British colony which is doing very well. Look at other British colonies like the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, etc. They all do extremely well and Argentina is a third world hell hole. The UK should tell Argentina kiss their A and go to war.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Malvinas Argentinas!

      ...malditos imperialistas!!! Van a ir cayendo cada una de sus putas colonias y de sus putos paises!!!...y no va a hacer falta guerra, uds solos se estan destruyendo! .Se les acaba el tiempo de chuparle la sangre a Latinoamerica; ahora van a empezar a chupar su propia sangre...! Viva Argentina carajo!!! y viva Latinoamerica!!!!

      February 7, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldSod

      Dave, I have no idea what "Malvinas Argentinas! ...malditos imperialistas!!!" has just said, but its looks like angry typing,... just look at all those exclamation marks and full stops,... be careful, he might try and blockade you, or make a sneak attack on you or complain to the UN! – on a serious point, I am also a bit surprised at how calm the UK is about it all. I would have expected them to have complained to the UN themselves or to at least expel the Argentine ambassador. I don't think there is any need for war though,.. but better to be safe and guard against another sneaky, sneak attack!

      February 8, 2012 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Marchog

    If the Argies keep this up then i fear a war 🙁

    February 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. johnh

    the really funny part is that the Falkland Islands have been British longer than Argentina has been Argentina.

    February 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cmi

    Even if a million French Canadians move into Maine and start celebrating Bastille Day instead of the 4th of July...it is still Maine and still U.S. territory. All the Kippers and Bangers in the world do not make these islands British Terrritory. We dont need another war. England should get to the table and work out a treaty.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldSod

      You can't compare the two. Maybe a better comparison would be a claim from the Dutch that they own New York, claiming they called it New Amsterdam and want it back.

      February 8, 2012 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. sosume

    This is just the the Argentine government (Kirschner) wagging the dog. The only purpose is to get Argentinian's minds off of their real problems. It's a tempest in a teapot.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BOMBO ©

    "Militarizing the South Atlantic." Well, Britain does have a few ships down there at any given time. But maybe they think they need to, just in case someone tries to attack. Now does anyone remember 1982? Hmmm, perhaps their fears are justified.

    February 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tucker box

    not sure the poms hav any rites on the falklands...just because you occupy an island for a few hundred years dont make it yours...and remember...the poms have been kicked out of neally all the land they have every tried to rule and in the near future most of the colonies will be republics...why you might ask...because it was never theirs land to begin with...
    I bet if the argies had an island off the coast of england that they occupied 200yrs ago...you can be sure the poms would be spitting tacks about them giving it back!
    about all the poms have done for their coloinies is used their young men as connon fodder, burden their goverments down with massive war debts...and then heaverly tarriffed their exports into the mother land to stiffle their growth...thanks mother england...

    February 8, 2012 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    I am so nauseated with Great Britain interventionist policies
    The whole world knows that the english HAVE ALWAYS used civilians to promote their expansionist policies
    IT goes something like this: Once they occupy forcefully a territory their next step is to populate it with british citizens , Their next move is to claim thet they are protecting their right of self-determination to remain british subjects.
    They did the same thing with Northern Ireland and Gibraltar etc. they bring thousands of peoples to live into those places
    just to claim that these people they brought should decide weather to stay british subjects or not
    That claim is so ridiculous, they must think that people are blind to their trecherous ways.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      The islands were uninhabited when we landed there. So their claim is wrong and these people want to remain British.

      February 8, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Boovis

      Hey Doug, where do you live, the USA? I'm guessing you're not sioux or cheyenne or any of the other tribes the Europeans decimated so if you despise these ways of populating lands so much maybe you should trace your roots and go back to the Empire building land your family came from.

      February 8, 2012 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Niko

      Boovis, the vast majority of people in the USA today, trace their roots back primarily not to those who conquered the land, but to those who came here to work (very often against their own will as slaves and indentured servants). That the land was conquered and that people died in what we now call the United States reflects little to nothing of the character of someone born generations later. It's odd that Argentina would maintain a claim to the Falklands when those islands have been occupied continuously by British citizens and armed services since before Argentina was truly it's own country, but Douglas is partially right that it is a typical way Britain has asserted it's claim to the Falklands. Argentina has pursued the same tactic in their own land claims against Britain and Chile, such as on the Antarctic Peninsula

      February 8, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pacito

      Very well put! that is the strategy they always had. And let me tell something else, for those to responded: THERE WAS a small population of Argentinians in 1833 when the British invaded the islands. They were kicked off and of course, they did not oppose resistance against the much stronger British navy. Argentina was claiming since then.

      February 8, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      What part of the British colonization of the Falklands was forceful?

      February 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ram

    Well lets see. Embargo on iranian oil just at the time when Europe is freezing in the dark and european businesses losing profits with less trade.
    Lets see where the lifeline of the Falkland Islands lie...thousands of miles away or the port next door. Now it will cost the islanders much more to live and the british forces will have to travel farther for supplies...with embargoes upon embargoes in this world, I would not be surprised if the british ships are left stranded without fuel somewhere between Brazil and Argentina...just like the Iranian aircrafts being denied re-fuel. This is a round world and whatever goes around comes around....boomerang! I can see British cucumbers and tomatoes coming directly from London port to the Falklands...a little crushed but it is still edible, old chap.

    February 8, 2012 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. panzerduck

    This is cool, Briton has oil reserves on the other side of planet. Awesome ! After being the ruler of India, China ,Canada and America to name a few. They should def prot thier treasure ! AAARRRGGGG !!!!!

    February 8, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • denu

      how come UK is ruler of china? you are wrong, UK only hired hongkong from china, hongkong is only small island, no western country ever ruled china

      February 8, 2012 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @denu: 'today we celebrate empire day, when we try to remember the names of all the people from the greater sudbury area who died trying to keep china british.'

      February 8, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
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