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. Percy

    They are weak and can not take it back by force, last time they suffered a huge butt whipping. Anything short of that will not work ;-),

    February 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stephanito

    if cristina wants to put an economic blocade on the islands so that the people there suffer, it is only because she wants them to see what it is like to live in argentina

    February 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matias

      yeah? what about the american blockade to Cuba? why is that? because they want the cubans to know how horrible is to live like the americans?

      February 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanito

      @ matias, no i was just pointing out that with the blocking of imported goods to argentina by the kirchner government, they could make the islanders have a similar truly argentinian feeling of "isolation and hopelessness" also its very hypocritical to condemn the cuba blockade by the yanquis and then blockade an island oneself. besides on a personal level if you were living in an area administered by the UK would you want to go through transition to any other administration let alone an administration as notoriously corrupt and dysfunctional as argentinas'?

      February 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don't cry to me Argentina.

    Argentina I have one word for you....Uruguay (you're gay)

    February 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Don't cry to me Argentina.

    Why Brazil? Argentinias to much puzzies to fight for themselves? Oh that's right they got their butt whipped.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Wth US help. Rmember, Reagan sent down warships and supplies. Britain is a backward country with a royal family.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • alex

      Well what about the US with its 320 mil invading iraq with 20 + million????. Its about terretory south america is 1 region you mesh with any of them, you mess with the region. Its simple

      February 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • leo

      This coming from a country that won only thanks to a military superpowers help , USA, cough cough.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capitan Justicia

      And does Britain have the balls to fight without help from the US?

      February 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    Hey Lady: 1982 called. They want their pointless war back.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.Patrick

      @ Frank: LMAO!!! If I could, I would hit a "like" button to your post.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bev

    From my understanding, although geographically it looks like it should be part of S. American rulership, the UK has colonized it before Argentina was a country and didn't even displace any native dwellers. It was a barren island. Argentina only decided in modern times that they wanted it. If that is true, don't see any reason why the UK should have to, or be forced to give it to Argentina. Northern Ireland and Gibralter may have immense grounds on throwing the UK out. But aside from Falklands being located very far away, there seems to not be the same grounds. I'm happy for anyone to correct me if wrong for, as I said, it is what I understand to be true right now.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pip

      Gibraltar is full of British people too, but yes it's a sore point with the Spanish as it really is just carving out a piece of Spain. And geographically, well by that reasoning the UK should have France back too 🙂 but yes you are right, it was abandoned and the British walked in.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      Bev you are correct on all points regarding the Falklands. As for Gibraltar and NI, they too have been give the choice to vote if they wish to seperate from the UK, and every time have said NO.....they wish to remain part of the UK. Democracy must be respected.....so no you are wrong on your statment those two locations....they don't want to throw the UK out, they want to throw Ireland and Spain out....get it!

      February 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Brown

      @pip Actually, most British people were descended from France and at one time they mostly spoke French. That time was around one millenium ago when the Normans came over. My family tree on my mother's side even goes back to the 1000s and I saw family members who were born in France and die in England and how my family started their rise to power there. I am a direct descendent of the first speaker of the House of Commons of England, Sir Thomas Hungerford. I am now American as many of my ancestors came here in the 1600s, but i'm no fool to English history. lol.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Sadly Argentina has adopted American political practices. Hey Argentina! Hold on to your wallets! While your president is making you look one way there will be a bill passed that you will pay for later.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.Patrick

      @ Mike: sadly you are unaware of world history. Argentina only started blabbing about having it back once the United Nations were established post-WW2, and that only occurred in the 1960's. This has nothing to do with "American political practices". If anything, American political practices post-United Nations encouraged prior nations to cede their colonial acquired territories.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    Time for Argentina's president to wag the dog.

    February 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pete

    What's going on with all these Socialists? We have this woman in Argentina, an Eric Estrada look-alike as President of Uruguay, and then we have Obama....

    February 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • M.Patrick

      @ Pete: as predictably usual with conservative nut jobs, Obama is incorrectly drawn into a parallel with "socialism". You clearly have no concept of what socialism actually means, nor the current US president's political views.

      Stop watching Faux news, son.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • addison

      Mpartrick. Why do you assume he watches Fox news? Shows your bias. I have an advanced degree in Nuclear physics, and have lived all over the world, so I am confident I can say I am more intelligent than you are, and more experienced in the world than you are. My wife is a foreigner who I met when I lived in one of the countries abroad. Obama's agenda is socialism, he is not getting all of his agenda, but it is obvious to me it is you who does not understand the concept. I lived in Russia for the nuclear weapons dismantling program and while Russia is quite poor, Russian people in fact have more freedoms than we do here overall and are less socialist than we are.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oldsod

    Lets use a different analogy: Mr Argentina sounds like some bitter stalker, who insists that the subject of his stalking and harassment (Miss Falkland a neighbor who lives down the street from him, but is in a relationship with Mr UK who lives across town) should marry him. Mr Argentina's logic is that Miss Falkland dated him briefly when they were teenagers and she lives closer to him than Mr UK. So back in the 80's Mr Argentina broke into her home, thrashed the place (leaving landmines everywhere) and demanded Miss Falkland marry him. Mr UK came over and beat him up and threw him out (Miss Falkland phoned him for help). Now years later, Mr Argentina is getting even more pushy, he is stalking her, getting his other neighbors to gang up on her, tampering with her mail, pushing dog waste through the letterbox, following her around, cutting her hedge etc.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TSB8C

      Mr UK should nuke Mr Argentina – down and out once and for all.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hmmm

      Mr. UK can't nuke Mr. Argentina without first asking Mr. USA. In fact, Mr. UK cannot even wet his pants without asking Mr. USA first. And then he must do as Mr. USA says.

      Besides, if Mr. UK nuked Mr. Argentina, Mr. UK wouldn't have any decent footballers left to play in Mr. UK's Premier League.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TSB8C

    The people living thereshould be allowed to choose their fate. If they have truly been choosing to remain British then that choice should be recognized. It's not up to Argentina or any other nation to try and change that by force.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • sj

      So, when the people of the Southern U.S. decided they wanted to be Confederate, we should have let them secede because that's what they decided for themselves? Cool! I hope New England can secede soon!

      February 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeyW

      So if Mexico put some people on one of the empty islands off of the California coast then they should be able to keep it because the Mexicans want to belong to mexico? Makes sense.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • umm no

      So if I were to drive off everyone that lived in the same town or city as you, then replace those people with people fgrom my city, would you then say the current residents should be allowed to decide who the land belongs to? That's exactly what the British did. I suspect you'd change your story if it was your home that had been taken away and given to people of another nation.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ram

      But the west is trying to change the middle east by force.

      February 8, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dan

    Sorry, no everyone does not know that.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. manu

    I thinks its a disgrace that WE as latin america cannot unite and expel this invasive army out of our lands. Its so typical of Anglos to use fancy word play to hide non other than another invasion, usurping our sovereignty.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Here's some simpler terms you might understand: Those islands have been claimed by the UK since 1765, 45 years before the establishment of Argentina. The Argentine claim of the Falklands is invented and without merit.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      @ manu
      >I thinks its a disgrace that WE as latin america

      That pretty much sums it up.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • fearlessdude

      Pesky British, they hold a piece of Ireland too. I don't understand what is holding up Ireland from kicking the British out of Northern Ireland? It should be an easy job. Or what is holding up Spain from kicking the British out of Gibraltar? That should be an easy one day procedure.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArkRoyal

      YOU as LATIN AMERICA? YOU are NOT Latin America. YOU are a bunch of losers. YOU are invaders from Spain who have stolen the land from the natives. YOU are NOTHING.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • umm no

      manu,

      As soon as every South American nation returns control of the land to the indigenous people, then your argument might have merit. Since you and I both know it will never happen, you might want to try another approach or risk being labeled a hypocrite.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hmmm

    Probably a bit of truth in the deflection issue. At the same time, If the UK wants to support a colony thousands of miles away, that's their problem. Let them go bankrupt shipping in food and supplies. Argentina owes them nothing, and if they don't want anyone using their airspace or ports, that is their perogative.

    Oh wait, there's oil there. That explains why a couple ice cubes floating within spitting distance of antartica suddenly matter.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pip

      They mattered in 1982, that's when all the British thought was there were sheep

      February 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    So the Brits have had it since 1833 yet the Argentinians say its theirs, after 180 yrs? Wow....seems like it is more of something to just distract from their domestic economic problems and use the veterans of the last conflict where they got their butts handed to them that they're gonna finish it once and for all. Just let the residents of the island decide and if they say they want to stay British then let them....don't force something.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pip

      And they never had them either – their claim comes from the fact that they were once Spanish

      February 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hmmm

      Actually, they don't say they just now want it – they have claimed since the beggining. They just never got it.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
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