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Argentina

Falklands: Argentina Needs To Give Some Ground -- Or Get A Better Army

Op-Ed: In its renewed push for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, Argentina is making some major waves three decades after its disastrous 1982 invasion of the British territory. But if it wants something, Buenos Aires must offer benefits -- or be prep

A Falklands War memorial in Argentina (Benjamin Dumas)
A Falklands War memorial in Argentina (Benjamin Dumas)
Marcos Prats*

SANTIAGO -- Argentina has been busy of late trying to attract allies to its cause. So far its tactical moves have had some success, as evidenced by the U.N."s offer to act as mediator in its long-running standoff with England over the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

The situation right now is in an initial or "positional" stage, with both sides still focusing on their competing visions, rather than on their interests.

For the United Kingdom, the best alternative to a negotiated settlement is the status quo – because in the end, England can actually live with this war of words. If Argentina instead cannot accept the status quo, as it has made clear, then it doesn't have an alternative except to negotiate. That, in turn, will mean ceding some ground.

In the business world, if you don't want to negotiate, you need a good lawyer. When it comes to territorial conflicts, if you don't want to negotiate you need a good army.

If Argentina wants the UK to agree to negotiations, it needs to take actions that diminish the value of the status quo. Otherwise the British have no incentive to budge. Argentina could, for example, sell its sovereignty cause to Falkland islanders by offering them special and very favorable conditions but without demanding that they renounce their British citizenship.

Another possibility is to offer the British economic compensation, guarantee British firms favorable access to the islands' resources of oil and fish, or provide special benefits for the English victims of the 1982 war. In other words, Argentina needs to give the UK something it can use as a precedent for its dealings with other British colonies.

Simply put, if Argentina really wants to have sovereignty over the Falklands, it must be willing to give something up – or pay. If it won't yield at all, then it's going to need a better army.

Either way, all indications suggest that Argentina's current maneuverings amount to little more than a fancy light show – a way to drum up support for the government, not a genuine intention to negotiate.

Read the original story in Spanish

photo - Benjamin Dumas

*Marcos Prats is a Chilean-based business executive who currently heads the Santiago office of Falcon Management Partners

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Society

Jehovah's Witnesses Translate The Bible In Indigenous Language — Is This Colonialism?

The Jehovah's Witnesses in Chile have launched a Bible version translated into the native Mapudungun language, evidently indifferent to the concerns of a nation striving to save its identity from the Western cultural juggernaut.

A Mapuche family awaits for Chilean President Gabriel Boric to arrive at the traditional Te Deum in the Cathedral of Santiago, on Chile's Independence Day.

Claudia Andrade

NEUQUÉN — The Bible can now be read in Mapuzugun, the language of the Mapuche, an ancestral nation living across Chile and Argentina. It took the Chilean branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, a latter-day Protestant church often associated with door-to-door proselytizing and cold calling, three years to translate it into "21st-century Mapuzugun".

The church's Mapuche members in Chile welcomed the book when it was launched in Santiago last June, but some of their brethren see it rather as a cultural imposition. The Mapuche were historically a fighting nation, and fiercely resisted both the Spanish conquerors and subsequent waves of European settlers. They are still fighting for land rights in Chile.

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