Colin Roberts takes aim at countryThursday, May 8, 2014
UK Malvinas governor: CFK adminstration is ‘bullying’ Kelpers
The British Governor of the Malvinas islands, Colin Roberts, yesterday accused the Argentine government of “bullying” Kelpers, and berated President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration, saying it should “behave better.”
The Foreign ministry yesterday responded with a sharp remark of its own, calling Roberts an “illegitimate colonial governor.”
The first to lob fire was Roberts.
“There have been a series of actions and declarations by the Argentine government in the last few years that have been designed to damage the economy and suffocate the capacities of the islands’ inhabitants,” Roberts said, in an interview given to Infobae in which Roberts claimed the government had been “bullying” the Kelpers.
“For the islanders there is a large degree of resentment because the Argentine government bullies us. They feel mistreated because of the government’s actions,” he said, noting the example of Argentina’s “criminalization of those involved in the oil and gas industry or attempts to stop cruise ships from travelling to the islands.” “Basic human nature suggests that a long period of time in which Argentina behaves well will have to pass before the islanders feel open to thinking about a different government,” he added.
Military to stay
Roberts also made assurances that British military forces were not planning on leaving the islands any time soon and vehemently denied that there was a NATO nuclear base in the Malvinas.The governor officially assumed his post last week during a ceremony held on the Malvinas islands. He praised the positive atmosphere on the islands, which he attributed to “the confidence they had gained with the referendum” that occurred on March 2013 when the majority of the islands’ residents voted in favour of remaining under British rule.
The Foreign Ministry immediately responded to Roberts statements the same day with a press release, in which it said he was “illegitimately named a colonial governor by the British crown (a title more appropriate for the 19th century than the 21st),” and that the governor’s statements demonstrated his “profound ignorance of international law.”
He mocked the president’s claims made on the 32nd anniversary of the start the Malvinas war, that there was a NATO base on the islands, “Just the suggestion that there is a NATO base is so ridiculous that it makes the whole world laugh... and to suggest that there are nuclear weapons is really foolish.”
Roberts claimed that the only military personnel on the islands were the minimum required, and that the UK believed sufficient to defend them from any Argentine attack.