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. mel

    Ugh! Just send this creature over to the Falklands – they'll leave in droves. Or maybe she can go visit her sister – the Governor of Arizona. I'm guessing the useless Botox injections have gone to her brain. Prince William is not in the Falklands by accident – Britain knows this cretin Argentinian can't contain herself. All that Argentina needs to know is that if they start something in the Falklands or elsewhere, the Royal Gurkha Rifles are more than happy to finish it.

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

      Actually, she has more in common (regarding both looks and outlooks) with Nancy "lala" Pelosi. The Royal Gurkha Rifles will have to beg Uncle Sam for permission first. Uncle Sam always wanted a British puppy lapdog. Unfortunately for our cute little British Terrier, the current occupant of the White House might just say "bad doggie."

      February 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. paul321

    Tell you what – why not ask the people that live there what THEY want to do and then do it? – We call it democracy.

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

      They already did and they chose to remain British.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      Because the people that live there is ILlEGAL is like 12 millons of iligals deside their self determination over Texas 😉

      February 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      They did. They said they wanted to be British. Hooray Self-Determintation!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mordrud

    Argentina is nuts. I just looked at a map and those islands are roughly 300 miles out at sea. The U.S. has more of a right to claim Cuba than Argentina has to claim the Falklands.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • umm no

      Not according to the UN law of the sea...

      February 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. binky42

    The residents who live on the islands have voted. They want to remain British. End of discussion.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      While I do sympathize with the Falklands residents, that's NOT the end of "the discussion." Argentina seems to have the support of its immediate South American neighbors other than Chile. If planes from Chile cannot overfly Argentina to reach the Falklands, those islands and its people will be effectively isolated except by shipping from the Northern Hemisphere. From what I can see, the islands are too small for the construction of a 10,000 foot runway for long range air travel, even if that were economically feasible.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Sorry Howard I’m afraid binky42 is correct. As the discussion is over whom the islands belong to. Now.. if Argentina wants to start a fight that is another discussion a together. One they didn’t enjoy last time they tried this nonsense.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. paul321

    Argentina dropped its claim to the Falklands by ratifying the Convention of Settlement in 1850. By all standards of international law Argentina has NO claim to the islands

    February 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matias

      tell me in what part of it says that?

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

      Actually it doesn't.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boovis

      Re: the 1850 ratification:
      "The Convention of Settlement was signed on 24 November 1849 and ratified by both sides in Buenos Aires on 15 May 1850 – at that time treaties only came into force after they had been ratified. And after the ratification of the Convention, Argentina completely ceased to mention the Falkland Islands to Britain – for over a third of the 19th century.
      The introduction and the ratification document of the Convention speak of “putting an end to the existing differences” and to “the settlement of existing differences” between Britain and Argentina, and the title and Article VII say that “perfect friendship” or “perfect relations of friendship” between Britain and Argentina are restored by the Convention (fig. 7). So, once the Convention had been ratified, “the existing differences” between Argentina and Britain had been settled and “perfect friendship” between the two countries had been restored.
      It is noteworthy that the Falklands were not mentioned once, neither during the negotiations on the Convention, nor in the text of the treaty itself. From Britain that was to be expected: Britain’s position was that the islands were British and were nothing to do with Argentina. But from Argentina that was remarkable – a peace treaty normally “resets the clock” in the relations between its signatories, and in signing and ratifying it without adding a reserve of sovereignty, or even any mention of the Argentine claim, Argentina was allowing the new situation to reflect Britain’s view that the islands were British.
      The Convention of Settlement ended Argentina’s protests over the Falklands. After the Message to Congress in December 1849, the Falklands were not mentioned again in the Messages to Congress for 91 years until 1941"

      February 8, 2012 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Deja Vû

    Playing with fire, this time the British will do more damage!,

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

    This really couldn't be more straightforward. First and foremost, the UK has a claim on the Falklands predating the existence of Argentina. The current residents have expressed their preference to be subjects of the UK. The argument about Argentinian people being expelled holds no merit at this time. If the current inhabitants were expelled and sent back to the UK, then by the same logic the vast majority of Argentinians would be expelled from their country and sent back to Europe.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. M.Patrick

    If by "everyone" you mean the Argentinean people, then OK. But if by "everyone" you mean the rest of the world... it's pretty common world history that the Falklands have been a UK territory for well over a century and 1/2... and that Argentina *INVADED* it almost 150 years after the British established it as a territory.

    Just because something is close to you doesn't make it yours, son. ;^)

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

      Well, with the same logic, Britain should continue owning India, Australia, 1/2 of Africa, etc... and the list is endless. Argentina has a fair clain on the soverignty of the islands because of the history and prior sovereignty. The question is how to accomodate the situation now and how to work constructively for a transition over time as Britain has done with many other colonies.

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

      @Rod. You make no sense, Argentina did not exist and HAS no prior sovereignty. Regardless, the people have no interest in being part of the Argentina, and rightfully so....seeing how many people those crazy dictators have killed in Argentina. This debate is pointless....They have no claim to islands. The islanders decide their own fate, and they choose Britain. End of story.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • addison

      Rod.. I love stupid people.. and thanks for being so stupid... India sought independence, the people wanted independence, the people in the falklands do not want independence.. I know this is complicated.. but read it several times and maybe the difference will sink in.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Rod, you don't know what you are talking about. The Argentinian claim actually goes back to Spanish gaucho's who were nomadic and didn't even live on the falklands permanently. So by your llogic, given that actually living there doesn't matter, there is no difference to suggesting Norway or Denmark has a valid claim to North America, Good Luck on that one..

      February 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buster

      because the Falklands are NOT a colony, they are a British Overseas Territory, just like Bermuda. The people of the Falklands want to stay British and so they should. Bermuda is closer to the U.S. than the Falklands are to Argentina...what would you say if the U.S. decided to invade Bermuda??

      February 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheehanje

      That makes no sense. The former British colonies you speak of can all be considered soverign countries. The Falklands consist of about 3000 people, that are mostly British. It's basically a piece of land that Britain owns, not a country that Britain occupied.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Did the people living in India, Australia, 1/2 of Africa ect. . . want to remain British? If the Argies want to own the islands they need to convince the couple thousand folks that live there to join them. I personally don't care how close the islands are to the mainland and neither (it seems) do the people that live there.

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

      Argentina has NO claim over the islands. The British had been on the islands for almost 50 years before there even was an Argentina.

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

      This is not a colony, they have their own government and essentially they run the internal welfare of their own island.

      The fact of the matter is, is that the British landed on the islands before Argentina was even a nation. The island was deserted when the British landed on it. So why do the Argentinians have a right to claim the islands as theirs?

      February 8, 2012 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • A North American

      What prior sovereignty? The Brits settled in 1766, Argentina wasn't even a Country until fifty years later on July 9 1816. The people want to be Brits, let them be Brits.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Boovis

      Argentina does not ave prior sovereignty, we landed on the islands in the late 1500's, a couple of hundred years before Argentina even existed. Also, for Argentina to claim the land because Spain gave it to them, that's like saying your burglar friend gave you a TV he robbed. Argentina is run by the descendants of european colonialists the same as the Falklands are, difference is we didn't kill anyone for the Falklands, Argentina did, many times.

      February 8, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael Brown

      Pax Brittanica is over fools. Let go of that territory!

      February 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      In this case, it does. No other comparable situation exist. There is no reasonable explanation for the inhabitants of Las Malvinas to be English? No good reason, other than England invaded the island, imported English settlers and did off with the Argentinian. They did the same thing in Northern Ireland, Wales, etc. Its systemic of British colonialism.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldSod

      You could say the same for the whole Americas,... what business have non-native Americans in the Americas? So by your logic all non natives have to leave? Or is it only the descendants of British colonists who should be kicked out? The Argentine argument is paper thin, so they are going to try push the Falklanders out because their faces don't fit. Bully boy tactics.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Tiny Argentinian garrison which left Falkland islands where not "local" at all. They had been in the island only couple of years. Quite a difference with current British Falklanders who have lived there 9 generations.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • PacerLJ35

      Ryan, here's a brief history of the islands since you don't seem to get it...

      Pre-1500s: Islands are uninhabited by humans

      Early 1500s: Numerous sitings by various nations, but no definitive exploration of the islands

      1592: English captain John Davis shelters on the islands

      1594: English captian Richard Hawkins explores the northern coast of the islands

      1690: English explorer John Strong lands on the island and starts the first inhabitation of the island; names the islands their current name after Viscount Falkland

      1764: French establish a port on the western side of the islands

      1765: Britain establishes a port on the eastern side and formally claims the islands for Britain

      1767: French turn their colony over to the Spanish and leave the islands; Spanish begin to colonize former French areas...the French name Iles Malouines gives rise to the Latinized version "Isles Malvinas"

      1770: Spanish land 4000 men on British part of the islands

      1776: Britain withdraws due to trouble in the Americas but still claims the islands (can't afford to fight Spain over the islands while the American colonies are also fighting them)

      1811: Spain withdraws from the islands

      1816: Argentina becomes independent from Spain

      1820: Argentinian captain Jewitt lands on the islands and makes a territorial claim

      1824: Argentina grants a businessman land on the islands to develop the commercial potential of the islands

      1829: Argentina formally declares the Malvinas as theirs; Britain protests citing their earlier claim to the islands

      1833: Britain reasserts their control over the islands; some of the Argentinians leave, many stay

      1800s/1900s: Argentina makes several attempts to challenge British claims

      1982: Argentina invades

      So...Britain has been involved with the islands and has had territorial claims that date back hundreds of years. Argentina was involved for what...10 or so years? It's pretty clear that the two countries that have any clear claim on the islands are Britain and Spain...and since Spain hasn't made any recent claims or challenged the British claim, the islands clearly belong to the UK. Argentina has only ever been a minor player in the islands' history.

      The myth that people spread of the UK evicting "native Argentinians" is laughable once you read the history of the islands. They were no more "native" than any other human that lived on the island. And for the past 150 years, it has firmly been British.

      February 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      As someone from the Republic of Ireland, where the North was colonised/planted centuries ago by the British, I still agree that the people of the Falklands deserve self-determination. It's not their fault that their ancestors were planted there and they shouldn't be demonised or coerced into leaving because of something that happened 150 years ago. Argentina should move on and stop rehashing emotive issues from the 80s to deflect from real domestic issues.

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

      Hey M. Patrick you forgot to mention the United States of America in the list.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Traver

      Not to be rude, I just want to tell you that no single country in the world agrees with the last sentence in your comment.
      Everyone in the world finds it random that the British government claims Las Malvinas are their territory when it's so far away from them. Let alone Las Malvinas, I'm scared that they might even claim that the Mars is British territory.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doug

    might be a good opportunity for the SAS to get some press exposure.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul321

      The SAS doesn't like press exposure- far better that nobody knows what they are really up to.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matias

    paul321 why dont we ask to the descendent from the expelled argentine from there what they want? their ancesters were there before the ancesters of the actual "falklanders"

    February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul321

      The Argentine claim that Britain expelled an Argentine population from the Falklands in 1833 is
      false; the settlement continued, and most of its inhabitants were from Buenos Aires.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick-o

      Lets give America back to the Indians!!! Wooo hoooo!

      February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimBob

      Please...the Indians had America for thousands of years and did nothing productive with it.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      Good question, why don't we ask them? Oh wait, we can't because they don't exist.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julian

      That's not true, the falklands were uninhabited, no argentinian has ever lived there. Ignorance is no excuse.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      Some of the comments are hilarious, suggesting there were natives there before the Europeans. The only natives were penguins.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unit34AHunter

      It's not p to the descendants. The Falklands were empty until colonized by Spain and then later, at Spanish invitation, by Britons. Final political status was settled more than two centuries ago. There is no indiginous claim to the Falklands that predates colonization, because prior to colonization there was no one living there.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Although the Patagonian Indians may have visited the islands at some point, the islands were actually uninhabited prior to European discovery around 1600.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArkRoyal

      The Falklands were NEVER Argentinian. Looks like Argentina has a thing for making a fool of themselves... any 30 years again.. and you know what? How about giving Argentina back to the natives? After all, it is a former Spanish Colony that has stolen land from the natives! Watch the movie "The Mission". So who is here a Colonial Monster!?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris Lee

      Using that logic, all white, black and hispanic people should ship out of the US. I believe the UK established it as a territory a while back and didn't waste too much time worrying about who was there first. As for Israel, it's only 60 years ago so all the jews should pull out and leave it to the Palestinians.
      At some point, you have to accept that somebody won and somebody else lost and it's time to move on. If you can't do that, you just spend your time throwing lives away ad infinitum.

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

      they weren't expelled, they were asked to stay and chose not to.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chivalry_66866

    Guess the Argentinans forgot the past. Why are we still in dispute???

    February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mexican

    More loser latino garbage, not news.

    February 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tim08

    I was reading elsewhere on CNN about The Maldives sinking into the ocean and being in the midst of a coup/mutiny. I suggest the UN plant its flag on the Falklands, give it to the people of The Maldives as a new country. This will infuriate everyone......internationally cooperation at its best (problem solved)

    February 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaplin62

      The U.N. as ever will do nothing.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pip

      The UK is a permanent member of the UN security council and could veto such a move. Also how could the Falklands be an independent country? Selling sheep? Remember no one has found oil yet.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Thapsus

    I think Brazil would rather fight Argentina wouldn't it?

    February 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Brazil would be neutral in a war, but otherwise side with Argentina.

      February 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cody

    Falklands are weird. I always assumed the British invaded the Falklands in the Falkland war, was shocked when I realized the Argentinians did. They invaded a sovereign nation's territory without any real legitimate claim. They also got annihilated. Now they're upset that people died in the war they started?


    February 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matias

      thats the problem when you didnt know about this...because argentina have a legitimate claim since 1833...and the UN recognize this dispute, the UN said the only solution to this is negociations between argentina and the UK and the UK refused to do what the UN told them to do, and thats why argentina is making pressure

      February 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Sorry bub but no. Argentina has as much of a legal claim to the Falklands as they do Mexico. They are making “pressure” to that the focus of internal problems. This is a common tactic for all countries, especially back water countries who sue more successful societies as scapegoats.

      February 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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