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. Nicholas Robinson

    Incredible that in this day and age that there are still tinpot rulers in charge of so-called first-world countries. Doesn't that stretched-ace tw@t who has somehow been put in charge of a large, populated and presumably civilized modern European-style (okay, wannabe European) country realize that if she propelled her pathetic and unwilling rabble of a military into an unwanted and senselessly stupid war that history will repeat itself?

    What part of "the last time this happened Argentina was crushed like a bug" doesn't she understand? I would regret the loss of life but she and all those who side with her deserve to get their a$$es ROYALLY kicked.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mark trought

    the era of colonialism is over UK you should have started paying over reparations already. GET OUT OF THE FALKLANDS YOU termagants

    February 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • InFormed99

      Mark, Argentina has NO claim on this land (Argentina did not even exist as a COUNTRY when the British claimed it hundreds of years ago). Besides, the right to SELF DETERMINATION is at the heart of any democracy. The islanders have spoken, their rights MUST be upheld. Argentina is filled with hypocrites, burning down forests and displacing and killing Indigenous people from the forests, while making ridiculous claims on land that their forefathers don't even believe are true.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DJM

    The UK has been at war for nearly all of the last 21 years – Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, their forces are battle hardened and very well equipped even after the dramatic defence cuts of the last few years. If they use all of their remaining capabilities, which includes special ops, Nuclear Subs, Cruise Missiles, Type 45’s, Apaches etc it will be a very lop sided conflict, in fact they could potential destroy the entire Argentine Navy and Air force, I’m sure the Argentine military realise this and thus there is little chance of conflict

    February 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. EVITA lives..in a thetre near u

    let's see some action, talk is cheap

    February 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    If the Argentinians really wanted the Falklands, they could probably get England to cede them. What they did instead was try to take them by force, which appealed to Argentine nationalism. England wasn't all that attached to the Falklands in the first place, but a military assault was something that they were not going to tolerate. Hence the 74-day campaign known at the time as "The Empire Strikes Back". If they try something stupid while William is there, all hell will break loose.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Thatcher was/ is attached to the islands , they have $$$ interests there, call it oil..

      February 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. InFormed99

    Argentina has NO claim on this land (Argentina did not even exist as a COUNTRY when the British claimed it hundreds of years ago). Besides, the right to SELF DETERMINATION is at the heart of any democracy. The islanders have spoken, their rights MUST be upheld. Argentina is filled with hypocrites, burning down forests and displacing and killing Indigenous people from the forests, while making ridiculous claims on land that their forefathers don't even believe are true.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • 888soleil

      you absolutely correct.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      British not Argentinian were burning forest in Chaco and killing indians in Patagonia. Britts are so civilized!!! that's why first americans love them so much that took a ship to new lands! the land of the free!!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. K Kammeyer

    The Admiral Belgrano was originally an American ship, the USS Phoenix, a light cruiser of WWII vintage. The sinking of the Belgrano was later ruled "a legal act of war". And I might add, a mighty fine job of tracking by the HMS Conqueror, the submarine that sank the Belgrano.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jbmw

    ahhh...Mrs. Chavez is that you?

    February 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PacerLJ35

    History lesson time, people...

    The Falklands were uninhabited islands that MAY have been visited by natives from S. America prior to Europeans discovering them in the 17th century. The British were the first to claim the islands. They were also settled (and alternatively claimed) by Spain and France in the intervening years, but Britain never formally renounced their original claim on the islands.

    After Argentina became independent, they rode on the coattails of their former Spanish leadership and established a small colony on the islands under British watch. There was never a major attempt to make the Falklands part of Argentina, and it seems from reading that they colony Argentina founded was primarily to determine if there was any commercial viability to it, not to expand their nation. The British reasserted their authority (previously they allowed the Argentines to do their own thing under loose British overwatch) in 1833, not long after Argentina began their small and not very successful colony on the islands.

    So Britain had control of and claims of the islands since the 1600s, all while allowing French and Spanish (and later Argentine) settlers to attempt to build on the islands...yet somehow some of you seem to think that the Argentine's short 20-ish years of unsuccessful colonialism gives them a greater claim to the islands?

    Realize that prior to the British claiming them in the 1600s, NO ONE claimed the islands...

    February 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dogamus

    It's funny how history repeats itself. Leopoldo Galtierie anf the triumviate needed something to pull the country together after years of military rule, the dark years, and a ruinious economic poilicy. So like Hiltler, he started a war to shift attention away from the internal ills. Today, Kischner finds herself in a similar situation, double digit inflation and unemployement and several years of failed economic policies. If Britain said OK, it's all yours, i wonder what she would do next.....pick a fight with Chile over Terra del Fuego ?

    February 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jbmw

    Maybe some Nukes pointed at that bi otch would help her come around.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      that would be wonderful, That would be the end of the UK. :))

      February 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rad666

    UK will find it expensive to support a colony 8,000 miles away.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blitz

      You mean the colony we've been supporting since 1824? It actually more than pays for itself. And further, the people there WANT to be a part of the UK. So there is an obligation to protect it.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike C

      it's easier to support that island than it is to support Scotland. I think GB will opt to keep the Falklands and cut their losses with Scotland.

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

      Not if they are having great luck with fishing and the oil industry booms down there.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • rad666

      Blitz You mean the colony we've been supporting since 1824? It actually more than pays for itself. --- Only because they could trade with local countries. That has changed.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      A colony? The British have other territories in that area including: South Shetland, South Georgia, South Orkneys and Sandwich Islands. The Europeans (not just British)have a long complicated history with the Antarctic region.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JimBob

    And while you are at it, give Ireland back to the Irish!!

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

      Stoppit were all Irish/Basque/Celt. Scota was the wife of an Irish warlord and after she and her husband died her sons crossed the sea to the north and named themselves Scots.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MrJuicee

    How come the Brits never challenged CHINA over Hong Kong? They meekly handed it over to them. Oh wait, maybe it's because the Chinese would crush the Brits with one hand behind their back? The Brits KNEW it was coming and they quit.

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

      You have sick fantacy. Hong Cong was handed over to China according to hundred years old treaty.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |

      Or maybe because they already had an agreement set in place.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jyves95

      go back to school or buy a brain

      February 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • alan

      China sucks

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

      You'll notice they aren't handing Gibraltar back to Spain anytime soon. And yes, that is an area of contention.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • aiden zralka

      China only leased Hong Kong to the UK, we had to give it back

      February 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Modern nations honor their treaties.That one ran out after the British, brought it back from the dark ages.Democracies grit on dictators,cramps their style. Some nations get what they want with numbers ,others are just smarter.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Argentina has claimed or tried to claim everything south of the equator in South America. Brittan has managed the Faulkland Islands since early 1800's. Argentina did not exist as a country at that time.

      However, Argentina would love to be able to have control of the fishing and oil reserves there. It would give them more income they could waste every year.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Watcher

      I'm gussing several billion dollars had something to do with the Brits leaving quietly. It is amazing what th effect money has on people.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Fred Reynolds

    Please Argentina – save yourself the embarrassment of getting your butt kicked again, put your tail firmly between your legs and shut the hell up.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      Argentina don't going to do nothing, Argentina only need wait. sit on the threshold of your house and you will see pass the dead body of your enemy

      February 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      Malvinas islanders will be sold out sooner or later. :)) http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/falkland-islanders-will-be-sold-out-sooner-or-later-1.976896

      February 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • andy

      v that guy sounds scary.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • dogamus

      Juan, can you dance the Malambo for us....no females present ?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      you want to see how they dance malambo over the heads of the most powerful military in the world, 3 times in Buenos Aires 😀

      February 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
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