When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

CLARIN

Argentina Is Giving Away The Farm On The Falklands

The Argentine government has bent over backwards to please the UK while getting nothing in return.

Unhappy rockhopper penguins on the Falklands
Unhappy rockhopper penguins on the Falklands
Facundo Rodriguez*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — It's now been three years since the British and Argentine governments signed the Foradori-Duncan agreement and committed to taking "appropriate measures to remove all obstacles limiting the economic growth and sustainable development" of the Islas Malvinas (also called Falkland Islands).

What the agreement did not include was any specific reference to the long-standing sovereignty dispute over the islands.

Since that joint communiqué was signed, on Sept. 13, 2016, Argentina has been extremely generous with the United Kingdom in questions pertaining exclusively to British interests, without reaping any benefits in return.

Argentina has, for example, renewed its cooperation mechanisms with regards to fishing resources and agreed to allow commercial flights to the Malvinas to make a stopover in Argentine territory (even though the airline in question isn't even Argentine). The country also agreed to tone down its sovereignty claims in international forums, and is analyzing the possibility of easing protections on its natural resources. These were Argentine concessions in response to British demands (and in many cases responding to the prior wishes of Falkland islanders).

The UK still refuses to meet its international obligations.

The only result of the 2016 agreement has been to attend to British claims and needs, and without any involvement from our Congress. If matters pertaining to the Malvinas really are considered to be state policy, then all of this requires robust debate and agreements forged among all political forces on strategies and objectives for the short and medium terms. And the ideal place to have those debates is in Congress.

Some readers might argue that Britain also made a concession by helping identify unknown Argentine soldiers buried in the Darwin cemetery, on the Malvinas. But this is humanitarian issue, not a concession, and something that should have been cleared up much sooner. That's not to take away from the efforts made, in this case, by the Argentine and British governments, and by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In recent years, the strategy pursued by the current government has been all about satisfying the claims of the British side but without obtaining any substantial benefits for our country. Above all, the United Kingdom still refuses to meet its international obligations to negotiate a solution to the sovereignty dispute.

Message commemorating 1982 Falklands war — Photo: Ryan Noble

The immobile and naive posture of pleasing the British, based on the fantasy that they will at some point decide to sit and negotiate a proper solution to this dispute, has neither logical nor historical foundations. After all, Britain wouldn't negotiate in the late 19th century, when Argentina was one of the world's premier economies and a global actor with weight, nor in periods when the countries entertained much closer relations.

The problem is that the sovereignty dispute is the mainobstacle to the natural and sustainable development of the Malvinas. This must be clear. If the dispute were resolved, the islands would become much better connected with the world, services would improve and its natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, could be exploited without further complications.

There is no sense imagining that the other side will soften its intransigence when you are already meeting its demands. Improving trade, cultural and other ties with the United Kingdom and with islanders is important, but only as part of a central and inalienable objective to recover Argentine sovereignty over the islands.

If the dispute were resolved, the islands would become much better connected with the world.

Other countries have been in situations similar to that of Argentina. They've been firm and coherent, spelled out their case legally, and used creative tools to defend their interests. Argentina must do the same.

We must recover our ability to take the initiative, break with the current stagnation and status quo, and stop swinging from one extreme to another in the way we deal with the dispute, because all that does is help keep the conflict alive. The country must handle this in a responsible way now so that subsequent generations don't inherit the same uncertainty.

Our country has solid arguments, both historical and legal, and that is our main strength. We must analyze all the means international law offers us, without passion or prejudice, and appeal to the people and bodies that will allow us to reach the inalienable objective of restoring effective sovereignty over the Malvinas.


*Rodríguez is a lawyer and lecturer in international law at the University of Buenos Aires.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ