May 24, 2013
Malvinas: Thatcher's personal papers reveal 'no war' intentions in Britain
31 years after the 1982 Malvinas War, documents continue to shed light one of the most sensitive events in Argentina’s modern history. According to The Guardian, Margaret Thatcher’s senior advisers recommended the ex British Prime Minister not to embark Britain on the war and offer instead monetary compensation to the Islanders.
The information published by the British newspaper comes from Thatcher’s personal papers saying that her chief of staff David Wolfson proposed “buying out" the 1,800 inhabitants after Argentina’s ruling military dictatorship carried out the failed recovery of the disputed territories in 1982.
On April 22nd that year, Wolfson sent a written proposal to Thatcher outlining the “bribe” strategy which included the payment of around u$s100,000 per family and “lifetime guarantees allowing Islanders to settle in Britain, Australia or New Zealand with full citizenship” as The Guardian details.
The bribe, the British official thought, would persuade Argentine Leopoldo Galtieri –de facto president of the Junta that had decided to lead the military adventure in the South Atlantic in an attempt to divert public opinion from serious domestic problems and reports of aberrant human rights violations in the international community- that “they would vote in favor of Argentina’s sovereignty of the Islands.”
The documents issued by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation reveal also divisions among the members of Britain’s Conservative party over a war that was not stopped and claimed the lives of 649 Argentine and 255 British soldiers.