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. Matthew Kilburn

    Nor is it your "right" to force the rest of society to condone your lifestyle simply so you can feel better about sleeping with your gay lover. What you do privately is your business. What you demand the rest of the country do for you is very much mine.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawyer

      Fourteenth Amendment. You're wrong. Thanks for playing.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. asdf

    Looks Argentina wants to get its azz handed to it again as well as the government collapsing again.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jbird

    William does nothing for tensions under the current plan. Come in a suit and tie!

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

      A suit and tie would hardly be appropriate attire for search and rescue duties in a helicopter over the south Atlantic ocean....

      February 8, 2012 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anna

    What a joke. Cutting off airlines, blockading the islands? Sounds more like Israeli attacks against the Palestinians. Way to go Argentina, you are really coming off the winner here.

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

      That would be funny if it all weren't so sad. Years of failed ecomonic policies, double digit inflation and unemployment, and what does Kischner do........and rerun of Galtieri.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Right, copying the USA foreign policy with Cuba. That's a winner

      February 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Skeiron

    The Brits basically always have a major surface combatant (either a frigate or destroyer) in the area of the Falklands, thus that they send the HMS Dauntless as a replacement for HMS Montrose is business as usual.
    They also have a small air force deployment of 4 Eurofighter Typhoons and a small infantry garrison (backed up by a small volunteer force made up by inhabitants), plus a patrol boat stationed there.

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

      I would sleep close to my life jacket if I were on the thing. No way to hide in this world now.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jyves95

    This what dictators do. When things go wrong and want to unite the people, find a scapegoat. The Jews for Hitler, the Americans for Iran, the French for the US, the Martians for the Venusians and the English for Argentina.

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

      And I thought Marsians and Venusians made love not war.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. EB

    Argentina is the France of South America: Lots of martial history, political bluster, and inflated pomp...but little to show for it. Ms. de Kirchner, please quit trying to distract the Argentine people from the real problems at home with this idiotic dance, will you? It failed miserably in 1982, it will fail again.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Neal Richardson

    In the unlikely event that Argentina invaded the Falklands again, the outcome would be different this time. Britain would not likely get the strategic support it got last time from the USA and Chile, and Britain also does not have the military might it had in 1982. The cost to the UK would also be a serious issue. Let's just hope that calmer heads prevail and we can just go back to simply agreeing to disagree on the whole sovereignty issue.

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

      Correct, but I wouldn't bet on your outcome being correct. But as you say lets just hope calmer heads do prevail.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      It would definitely be an invasion which the locals would fight. I think Argentina would lose again and Chile may be the big winner, power wise. There has always been conflict between the two countries about the border. The problem with anything goes invasions, it can also be done to the invading country.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jyves95

      There is something called Nato, with its treaty, Section IV, #4, something about defending oversee territories, such as Guyane for France, Falklands for the UK, or the Azores for Portugal. This Nato thing also includes France (Guyane, Martinique, Guadeloupe), the UK (St Helena) and the US. Argentinian navy and air force are very weak. With no planes, 3 small submarines and a bunch of corvettes, there is no doubt that the Royal Navy can still crush them, and this can be another good exercise for the eurofighter. BTW.. The people of the Falklands want to be British. All of them.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. woodofpine

    Oh boy! Two countries get stupid again over some seals and sheep...

    February 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Them sheep are probably a lot of comfort on that island.Probably why there have been so many skirmishes for that piece of ground.We can rule out a man thing it seems.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      One is a slave demanding his/her BIRTH RIGHTS to God given Land back and one is a OLD occupational colonial slave master settler imposing his WILL.
      Get it together; will ya?
      There's a huge difference between original owners of Land a.k.a. The Argentina's and a settler on that same Land a.k.a. OLD occupational colonial slave master settler a.k.a British subjects or settlers or Brits nomads.
      FACTS UNDISPUTED: A settler has NO BIRTH RIGHTS to any Land ……… period!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ﺶCHEﺶ

    Britain should get the heck out of the Falkland Islands.
    The Falkland Islands is NOT an extension of Britain and its colonial masters. Get the heck out! Without US military assistance to Britain during the Falkland Islands War, Britain would have been mercilessly and disgracefully be defeated by Argentina.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArcticTwoZero

      Hope you don't gamble, you will be broke very quickly.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I notice you have Arabic characters in your name, and you also use the name of a Communist revolutionary. I would assume you support that people should have a right to choose who governs them, like those in Libya, Syria, or even Cuba. The people of the Falklands want to be British. Argentina should respect their wishes. You can't pick and choose when it comes to self-determination. Should Argentina do anything hostile in regards to the Falklands, they will join the likes of al-Assad and Qaddhafi in a very exclusive club.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Neal Richardson

    The average Argentinean wasn't even aware of the Malvinas prior to 1982, and likewise, the average Brit had never heard of the Falklands. The war was instigated as a way of rallying a miserable nation by a desperate General Galtieri, and because of all this, we now have an ongoing international dispute, that before, no-one gave the slightest attention to.

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

      Neal, you are correct that Galtieri and his junta used the invasion to gather support for their regime; nevertheless, we all knew from early age that the English colonized the islands illegally. We agreed that war was not the answer though.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jblbplus7

      "we all knew from early age that the English colonized the islands illegally." How many years back do you go to determine legality? Enough and one could say that virtually ALL Argentinians are illegals since the country belongs to the indigenous people.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      I take it you are not British, everyone over the age of 30 is certainly aware of the Falklands War in the UK and I bet the present government will certainly defend it with the same vigor as Maggie did, it's British and will remain so.....

      February 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tamm

      Just how far away are these islands from Britain? And how close to Argentina? It was colonial Britain – the empire – that took them over. Empires are long gone.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      I thank the brits for keeping those argentina's off the falkland they have no right evan to argentina . so keep going

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

      Brits have no right to be there !!! Bomb the island--

      February 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      Watch out Bermuda. You're right off the US coast therefore you belong to us!! And Hawaii, sayonara, you just aren't close enough to the mainland.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BritGuy

      @Tamm, so by your reckoning the USA should give Alaska to the Russians or Canadians just because it's closer ?

      The islanders want to remain British and so they shall.

      BTW we have the 3rd largest Military by expenditure with $53 billlion, Argentina is um... 50th? with $5 billion.

      So bring it, and next time we won't go easy, this time we'll play hard and finish it once and for ever.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juan Malambo

      @jblbplus7 when Argentina declare independence from Spain, There have no Indigenous Nations 😉 plus until now no one made a claim of sovereignty over Argentina territory

      February 7, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    The Falklands were never part of Argentina if you consult history books. During World War 2 Argentina also threatened to invade Uruguay claiming that it was also part of Uruguay. In the 1970's during the rule of the military dictatorship both sides of that internal conflict used torture and believed that it was OK for them to do so but not for the other side. THAT is the Argentina that we are dealing with.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Argentina claimed that Uruguay was part of Argentina.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Lets see... 30 years so we have a new generation in power in Argentina, Check. A government up to it's neck in trouble with no easy way out again. Check. Classic tactic of creating an enemy to focus peoples attention away from the issue. Check. Geez. Sounds like a whole nation who failed history making the same mistakes again.

    I guess they didn't learn the first time. Obviously since the Argentinian people can't understand that picking a fight with a world-class military is not going to end well they need a reminder. Maybe a full-scale firebombing of Buenos Aries or a few tactical nukes rammed into their most important commercial centers will sear something into their collective memory. Don't pick fights with someone who can kick your rear with two hands behind their back, especially when they did it before.

    And for the record. Their precious little cruiser was actually the USS Phoenix that was sold to them after WWII. Go figure – under US hands the ship survived Pearl Harbor, the kamikaze attacks, and all the other risks of against a major power. Soon as it was put into the hands of some posers from South America they go and get it sunk by a single submarine. Using a handful of WWII era torpedoes at that. Without even firing a shot.

    February 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Capitan Justicia

      This time Argentina won't be alone. A united Latin America (including U.S. Latinos) shall stand behind her!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      So Falkland, that are on the other side of the world are British? that your thesis. colonialism in 2012.
      why the prince don't pay a visit to Iran since he is so valiant!! ,he only like to play with the boats, like during the war that the britts sunk the manuel belgrano fragata , but they couldn't do it alone, they needed daddy USA ( and all the mega satellites) tell them where the ship was located... and now,, round.#.. asking for help again??

      February 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Yes Amy it is British and has been British for 179 years. Do you have any idea what the world would look like if we tried to force all territorial changes over the past 179 years to be reversed? Entire countries would cease to exist! Many countries hold land on the opposite side of the earth. It's nothing new and hardly a criteria that has any relevance.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jblbplus7

      Ben: Why stop a 179 years? I think maybe 400 would be more appropriate. Yes, silly.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      @Capitan Justicia – You're joking, right? The Brits will make minced meat of the South Americans. The Argies and their friends can talk the talk but when the rubber hits the road, they'll fold like a house of cards!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsamattaU

      John, you have to switch to decaf. No one is going to firebomb or nuke anyone. Geez, get a bit of perspective. Why would you favor killing tens of thousands of the innocent civilians that you just finished arguing are being duped by their government?

      February 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • BritGuy

      @captain nobody, erm, no they wont, really they wont. Keep dreaming though.

      @Amy, I believe it was actually a Russian satellite. Many thanks to the USA though for letting us test their new AIM9-L, I'm pleased to say they worked very well, cheers 🙂

      February 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • DetroitATP

      Amy, if you are American, please don't embarrass us any longer. You have no idea what you're talking about, so let the big boys talk here. the Belgrano had been shadowed by a British sub, the Conqueror before it was destroyed. 'Big Daddy America's' satellites, although they helped logistically, didn't have anything to do with the Belgrano being sunk. To all the rest of the world reading these comments, please don't think all Americans are as ignorant as Amy and her ilk. Some of us have a sense of the world outside of our hometown.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gus in CA

    Does anybody know why the issue of who "owns" the Falklands has not been determined by a world court? Same situation in the Spratleys near the Philippines. Seems there should be a better way to settle these claims than shooting.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Do you seriously think any consideration should be given to a country who says, "It belonged to us 179 years ago!" A line has to be drawn in time and that line is a heck of a lot closer than than 179 years ago!

      February 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • FaykeKname

      Our biggest threats to future peace are our border issues and our useless politicians, the world over, just leave the issues on the table. Nobody wants to deal with it.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      Despite that nasty little revolution circa 1832 Argentina is actually a Spanish colony...they should repatriate themselves.

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

      The only reason anyone owns anything in this world depends how much blood they want to shed to keep it.

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

      From memory the UK government tried a number of years ago to have the matter decided by mean such as you describe, the Argentinians declined the offer to participate so it never happened.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • janelle

      The civilian population of the Faulkland Islands have repeatedly voted to remain citizens of Great Britian. They have repeately voted to NOT be Argentinian. It's not like there is any movement within the Faulkland Islands themselves to be Argentinian, it's simply that Argentina wants the Islands and say they have a claim to them.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jblbplus7

    Argentina wants the Falklands back. Bolivia wants it's access to the Pacific back. It's like giving Mexico back California. Silly people.

    February 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • imikem

      I rather like California, but would be all in favor of giving Texas back to Mexico.

      Re the Falklands/Malvinas, go ahead and poll the residents. There aren't that many, every one could be asked. Last I heard, they were virtually all in favor of sticking with the UK. Shouldn't that be the end of it? Near 200 years on, no local irredentist movement is discernible. Time to move on, Argentina. By the way, I have been there, and loved Buenos Aires, and was most impressed with the people.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatsamattaU

      imikem – i like that part about giving texas back to mexico. no more idiots like bush or perry running for president. gotta love it...........

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