May 25, 2013
Malvinas: 'Islanders referendum's a total parody,' Puricelli
By Sebastián Penelli
Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli bashed the coming referendum announced by the Malvinas Islands Legislative Assembly for March 2013 on the islanders’ "political status", thus hoping to bring an end to the continuing dispute with Argentina over the islands' sovereignty.
“It [the referendum] is a parody that lacks creativity and imagination”, Puricelli told reporters during a ceremony held in Córdoba province due to the celebrations of the Industry’s Day
“If you ask any English citizens if they’d like to continue being English or not they will most probably answer yes. So, as I see it, that referendum lacks of any creativity.”
Same thing if I ask Argentines whether they like to remain Argentines or not. I’m sure close to 100 percent will say “yes”.
As Argentina continues to set its sights on claiming the territory, the Islands government said it hopes a referendum will send a firm message to Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner that islanders want to remain British.
Gavin Short, chairman of the Islands Legislative Assembly, said: “We are holding this referendum not because we have any doubts about who we are and what future we want, but to show the world just how certain we are about it.
“I have no doubt that the people of the Falklands [Malvinas] wish for the islands to remain a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom.
“We certainly have no desire to be ruled by the government in Buenos Aires, a fact that is immediately obvious to anyone who has visited the islands and heard our views.
“But we are aware that not everybody is able to come to these beautiful islands and to see this reality for themselves. And the Argentine government deploys misleading rhetoric that wrongly implies that we have no strong views or even that we are being held hostage by the UK military. This is simply absurd."