BUENOS AIRES HERALD, CLARIN, LA RED, PAGINA 12 (Argentina)
BUENOS AIRES – Residents of the Falkland Islands voted en masse in favor of remaining a British territory.
Thirty-one years after the UK and Argentina went to war over the remote South-Atlantic archipelago, the referendum asked: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”
The two-day referendum saw a voter turnout of 92%, with 99.8% of people voting “yes,” and only three voting “no,” reports the Buenos Aires Herald.
“I consider myself a Falkland Islander, but my ancestors came from Britain,” Rob McGill told the Buenos Aires Herald.
The consultation was designed to send a strong message to leaders in Argentina, who dismissed the referendum as “illegal,” because the population was “implanted” and could not claim the right to self-determination, according to Clarin.
Argentina said the referendum was a “manipulation” that would “not end the dispute over the sovereignty of the islands.”
Argentina’s Ambassador in London, Alicia Castro, told Buenos Aires radio La Red: “It is a manoeuver with no legal value, which has neither been convened nor supervised by the United Nations.”
“We respect their way of life, their identity. We respect that they want to continue being British, but the territory they inhabit is not British,” Castro told La Red.
Hours before the end of the vote, reports Pagina 12, British Prime Minister David Cameron “added fuel to fire” by saying that Argentina must respect the result of the vote. “The Falkland Islands may be thousands of miles away, but they are British through and through, and that is how they want to stay,” said Cameron. He added: “They want to remain British and that view should be respected by everybody, including by Argentina.”