On the 30th anniversary of Argentina’s surrender to British troops on the Malvinas Islands, ending the Empire’s colonialist war against Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addressed the United Nations’ Decolonization Committee — the first head of State to do so — to demand that Britain sit down and, once and for all, hold serious conversations. “We’re open to negotiations,” she said.
Back in London, Prime Minister David Cameron gloated over Britain’s 1982 “liberation” of the South Atlantic islands, provocatively flying the Malvinas/Falklands flag together with the Union Jack over Downing Street, and warning Argentina to cease its “aggression” against the islands. He hailed the announcement earlier this week that the Falklands government will hold a referendum in 2013 to determine whether residents want to remain part of the UK.
As the head of the Decolonization Committee stated, the referendum is just a “political ploy” by the UK, and has no validity. The islanders can’t argue “self-determination,” because the issue here is one of “territorial integrity,” and Britain is an “occupying power.”
Accompanied by a 90-person delegation, the Argentine President forcefully stated that “I’m not here because today is the 30th anniversary of the end of the war, but because in two months, it will be 180 years since the Malvinas were usurped” in 1833. “I felt such shame,” she said, that Downing Street flew the Malvinas flag. “You don’t celebrate wars.” Recalling that Aug. 15 is the date on which the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, Fernandez asked, “What would Japan think if on every Aug. 15, the President of the United States flew the Japanese flag below the U.S. flag at the White House?”
As for the planned referendum, Fernandez asked, “Why don’t they have a referendum in Iraq or Afghanistan,” so that people can say what they think about what the British are doing.
The Argentine President reminded the Committee that “the great naval empire of the 19th Century” had invaded Argentina in 1806 when it was still a Spanish colony. “If they had triumphed then, we wouldn’t be here talking. We’d be like Canada.” But the people of Buenos Aires rose up and threw out the invaders, and when they returned in 1807, they were repulsed again. Even after the illegal 1833 usurpation, she explained, Argentine rebels stayed behind and harassed the British, until they were captured. “That is the truth of history.”
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, offered strong support for Cristina’s stance at the UN Decolonization Committee, urging that the UK open negotiations with Argentina, and expressing concern over the British militarization of the South Atlantic.
And, in another move to forcefully reject the Empire, Argentina has announced that Milton Friedman’s portrait will be removed from the entrance-way to Argentina’s Central Bank, along with the inscription of his words that the Bank’s primary mission is “to preserve the value of the currency.” Bank President Mercedes Marco del Pont said that by removing these symbols, “we are turning the page on what was one of our most perverse periods in terms of abandoning the sovereignty to define our economic policy.” Friedmanite policy ruled Argentina from 1976 to 2001