Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not for Wool, or Fish, but for Oil, Latin America Stands Together

The last time the Union of the Provinces of the River Plate actually governed the Islas Malvinas was from 1820-1833, but they only installed a Governor for the Islands in 1829. Twenty eight years ago there was an long diplomatic negotiation which had been going on before on the 2 April the Argentine army invaded.

Therefore the fact that Hugo Chávez the Venuzuelan President and other Latin American leaders have back Argentina and are heading to the UN is a throw back to the 70s and early 80s. Chávez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner the Argentine President wouldn't have been a main concern to the UK Citizens on the Falklands but when Brazil and Chile are also backing calls for a return of sovereignty. The fact is that in 1820 the Islands only became of interest to some men of the Union of the Provinces due to a French wreck on the shores. Even those early claimants were aware of a conflicting claim of Britain to the islands, whose garrison had departed in 1776 because of the American War of Independence.

Of course we long expected that more wars over oil and then war could erupt. Most people thought these would centre on the Middle East or Central Asia. Now it appears that the South Atlantic has come into play. One of the lest fought over units on a Risk board but an area of many incursions from Argentina over recent history.

Almost 30 years ago it was just a case of Argentina against the UK, although some other nations provided logistical support. This time it appears that the whole continent has reared it heads. Mind you last time it was mainly about sheep and the self determination of the people who shepherded those sheep, this time there is the inclusion of oil into the equation.

In 1983 the people of the Falklands were granted full British citizenship, though in 1989 there was a UN resolution passed for the two nations to discuss the sovereignty of the islands, though despite diplomatic relations being restored such talks have never taken place.

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