October 22, 2014
'Malvinas is NATO's base in the South Atlantic'
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner led a government rally today to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Malvinas Islands War Argentina and the UK fought over the sovereignty of the South Atlantic territories back in 1982. 649 Argentine and 255 British soldiers lost their lives in the 74-day conflict.
Provincial governors, mayors, MPs, social and union leaders and war veterans joined the event at the Malvinas Argentinas Hall of the Casa Rosada presidential palace, which was inaugurated by Ms. Fernández de Kirchner in 2012.
On August 24 that year, the head of state was handed in seven Argentine flags that were taken to the Malvinas Islands in 1966 under the so called Cóndor Operation, in a show of ratification of Argentina’s rights over the resource-rich archipelago.
CFK presented one of the seven flags today that from now on will flutter in the Malvinas Argentinas Hall.
“History of humankind clearly shows that colonial enclaves end up being recovered sooner or later. I am confident in the people, in history,” President Kirchner said as she began to deliver a 30-minute speech that was broadcast on national television.
Vindicating the right of the familias of the 123 soldiers who remain buried in the Islands’ Darwin cemetery unidentified, the head of state ratified the “moral and patriotic duty to honour the memory of heroes.”
CFK explained that the Red Cross along with Argentina’s scientists and experts have been able so far to collect 65 blood samples belonging to 145 families of the soldiers.
“IF there is something we can exhibit to history is that we are a government that does and commits everyday,” the president insisted.
Ms. Kirchner’s call for Malvinas dialogue this time was based in what she considered an “immense military display” by the United Kingdom in the disputed territories, “violating” the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Tlatelolco Treaty) that “all American countries expect for those in the North have signed.”
According to the 61-year-old leader, natural resources prospects in Malvinas Islands do not represent the British main interests in the contested area.
“The truth about Malvinas is that it represents a NATO military base in the South Atlantic that is the truth that can no longer remain hided,” the president said and provided a detailed list of British military capability: electronic intelligence systems that “control all the air traffick in the region;” 1500-2000 men deployed to the Islands out of a population of 3,000; a frigate; an icebreaker; a nuclear attack submarine and aircraft armed with long-range ballistic missiles “that could reach several arear in the Southern Cone,” among other British military resources in the contested area.
“The British government does not break down its military expesnes in Malvinas, it is a country that is usually on the attacker side, almost always in the front of conflicts. It would be good to wage war less and dedicate more efforts to the British people, facing severe social cuts and severe unemployment problems,” Cristina Fernández affirmed.
“The military expense in Malvinas accounts for 31,000 dollars per British citizen, that to keep a military base more than 13,000 km away (from London).”
Malvinas, Crimea and double-standard
Renewing her position against the “double-standard” of world powers she mentioned only some weeks ago during an official tour to France, the head of state said that the referendum in both Crimea and Malvinas were a show of how “the relation of forces” rule the world. “International law and the respect of human rights, peace, territorial integrity” don't have much to say in today's world, according to Ms. Kirchner.
“It is the law of the strongest. That who can trample over somebody’s head goes ahead and do it,” the Argentine leader assured – in Paris, CFK blasted the US and Europe for rejecting the Crimea vote and ratifying instead the 2013 referendum in Malvinas where British citizens decided to remain what they are.
“We continue to appeal to abondon the double-standard that becomes actually a boomerang because the only thing that allows global society to live rationally, to prevent deaths, conflicts and misery is that a country’s rules become international rules that all countries respect. That is what the charter of the United Nations say,” the president added mentioning the UN resolutions that urge London to sit at the negotiating table with Buenos Aires and that the coalition government of British Primer Minister David Cameron continues to dismiss, based on a self-determination pledge.
“Who do they want to convince they will respect the law if they do not comply with these resolutions?”