Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Patagonia, there wasn't any doubt

"The Malvinas Islands are part of Argentina." Sign at Argentina's border.

The Brits don't agree. Some serious tensions are rising.

A number of Latin American countries have rushed to offer their support to Argentina in its long-running territorial dispute with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

This week Britain began drilling for oil in the waters off the archipelago, despite opposition from Buenos Aires which claims sovereignty over the islands it calls Las Malvinas. The project has reignited tensions between the two countries, who fought a brief war over the islands in 1982, with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner accusing London of ignoring international law.

Argentina says the natural resources around the islands, which lie in the South Atlantic Ocean off the Argentinean coast, should be protected, and Britain must accept international resolutions labeling the Falklands a disputed area.


The old colonial power and the mainland South American nation can't even agree on what to call the islands. The population, seventy percent of whom are of U.K.-origin, were made British citizens after the last Falklands war. That episode brought down one set of dictatorial Argentinian generals -- and cemented the loathsome Margaret Thatcher's prestige as a war-fighting Prime Minister.

Finding oil is not always a happy prospect. This keeps happening in wild places where I've vacationed.

1 comment:

Darlene said...

I remember the Falkland War and I actively disliked Margaret Thatcher. She and Ronald Reagan were two of a kind.

Oil must be replaced with other fuels. It's at the base of so many wars.

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