Argentina and Great Britain Diplomatic Spat


Jun 20, 2006
Looks like the Malvinas spat is hotting up at the moment . This is a take from the Guardian

Argentina has lodged a hostile claim at the United Nations for 660,000 square miles of the South Atlantic seabed immediately surrounding the Falkland Islands and other British overseas territories.
The formal submission, which challenges "the illegitimate British occupation of the southern archipelagos", is the latest territorial dispute to surface in the race to extend national sovereignties over the ocean floor.
Argentina's deputy foreign minister, Victorio Tacetti, presented 40 volumes of documentation to the UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf in New York this week, describing them as "11 years [of research] in defence of national sovereignty".
The United Kingdom has only a few weeks to present its rival claim for the seabed around the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands to the UN commission. A 10-year deadline for UK claims expires on 13 May.
The ambitious Argentinian claim extends as far as the Antarctic. There, the UK has already expressed an interest in the continental shelf up to 350 miles beyond the coast of its South Pole territory.
The UN convention on the law of the sea permits states to extract oil, gas and minerals from the seabed up to, and sometimes more than, 350 miles beyond their coastlines if they can demonstrate the "prolongation" of an adjoining continental shelf.
The historic Anglo-Argentinian enmity over the Falklands has been reinforced recently by the search for oil and gas reserves on the surrounding ocean floor. Two years ago Buenos Aires ended an agreement to co-operate on underwater prospecting.
Argentina has claimed Las Malvinas - its term for the Falklands - since Britain occupied them in 1833. Decades of tensions flared into war when Argentinian forces invaded in 1982. The 73-day conflict cost the lives of 649 Argentinians and 258 Britons.
In its formal UN submission, Argentina declared: "The Argentine Republic has never recognised the illegitimate British occupation of the southern archipelagos, as the presence of the United Kingdom derives from the usurpation in 1833 of a part of the Argentine national territory, which was immediately protested and never consented by Argentina."
Responding to the assertion of territorial rights, the Foreign Office in London said: "UK experts will be studying the Argentinian submission but we do not accept that there is any basis for the Argentine submission to include [claims for] the continental shelf generated by the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
"The UK government will itself be submitting data to the [commission] with respect to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands before [the deadline of] 13 May."
The effect of a British claim will be to freeze the two rival submissions, preventing either nation from exploiting the seabed beyond 200 miles from the shoreline until diplomatic agreement is reached.
Last month Gordon Brown met the Argentinian president, Cristina Kirchner, during an economic summit in Chile, and warned her that Britain would never discuss the sovereignty of the Falklands.
Every newcomer hears at one time or another: Don't bring up the Malvinas/Falkland War!

Would it be impolite if I asked about it here on the forum? After all, this is no cocktail party...but I'd rather avoid a pow-wow than rile people up. To be honest, I'm not even sure which are the right questions to ask.

I guess I'm curious to know if anyone has engaged a local in conversation on this topic? What do they say? Does the "average" person's view comport with the official stance of the government?

If anyone has a point of view on this topic, please share, because I'd like to learn more but I don't know where to begin.
Michelle said:
I guess I'm curious to know if anyone has engaged a local in conversation on this topic? What do they say? Does the "average" person's view comport with the official stance of the government?

If anyone has a point of view on this topic, please share, because I'd like to learn more but I don't know where to begin.

The official stance of which government? I suppose you are referring to the Argentine government, if that is the case, people here are behind the government and I mean any government does not matter the color or ideology, Malvinas belong to Argentina but at the moment there is not a physical possession of the land itself, but to every argentine there is a dedicated possession of Malvinas in they hearts, nothing will change that and this dispute will drag forever if there is not an accord by both parties in this dispute, be political or be by use of force, the rule of the more powerful play on this or any dispute for that matter on this earth, unfortunately we are only humans.

England on those times were collecting whatever lands and possession coming they way, Spain and France were in decline and losing theirs possession around the world by independence and freedom movements all colonies were under pressure and like any others just born nations Argentina got their chance to become independent from the Spanish crown, and they did.

Before that, the English come to conquer the land exploiting the weakness of the now defunt Spanish empire, Argentina not yet a nation was the port of entry to the subcontinent and in those times a mere village, Buenos Aires is attacked by British forces, the English were repelled, year later they went on for a second time with reinforcements and better prepared military forces and they succeeded amen briefly in taking the outpost but again were defeated, they realized the place was too hard to chew so they capitulated and left , not to return again....after that Argentina realizing his power felt that the time to become a nation was in his grasp and short after that victory the people of Argentina declared independence from Spain...... but the Malvinas islands after this debacle and some time later (17 in fact) the English saw those islands were an easy prey, a land not properly defended with just a small and ill prepared argentine post to run over so they invaded, the islands were attacked in 1833 and the Argentines were expelled, British forces took possession since then, except for the brief occupation by Argentina in 1982.

Argentina cried freedom on the 25 of May of 1810 and become a nation on the 09 of July of 1816.
So invasion of the islands by the British was 17 years after Argentina independence.
Argentina since then is claiming is right to the Malvinas and never relinquished this ownership before the world forums.

More information about British Invasion of Argentina here:

Bad day for the empire

Britain's invasion of Argentina 200 years ago became one of our least-remembered and most ignominious failures.

The British are traditionally reluctant to dwell on the defeats and disasters during their long imperial experience, especially when defeated by black and/or indigenous peoples.

The death in battle at the hand of native Americans in 1755 of their commander-in-chief rates barely a footnote
It is my understanding, certainly from those I have spoken to here, that the war is blamed Jointly on the Junta and Margret Thatcher. Young boys were sent to a cold and miserable southern island poorly prepared and equiped.
It was a sad time in both our histories. Before 1982 if you had asked most British where the Falklands is they probably would have said somewhere off Scotland. The invasion turned these small and insignificant islands into an issue of national pride. Now it is difficult to see how the problem can be resolved, without someone loosing face.
I believe (not based on anything except my feelings) that had the war not happened and Argentina had put in a claim, the present Labour government would not have had the stomach to argue the point. Also bearing in mind the now more democractic government of Argentina, this issue could have been resolved.
Unfortunately now attitudes have hardened and there is an attitude that we will not give away what our boys have died for.
In saying all this, I have never felt there was any animosity towards me, being English. "I mentioned the war once but I think I got away with it" Basil Fawlty.
tangobob said:
It is my understanding, certainly from those I have spoken to here, that the war is blamed Jointly on the Junta and Margret Thatcher.

Certainly those were the main factors who played in this war, for one side a military junta with a nearly popular uprising in their hands and on the other side the Tories with Thatcher facing a similar situation with social unrest, the miners long strikes and rampant unemployment, factories closing and so on, both did have motives to deviate popular attention from the main problems they faced, the junta did it first and the Tories sized the opportunity.

The junta here estimated that because they controlled and massacred their own citizens in the dirty war in accordance with an external power foreign political agenda, the yanks will support them in the recovery of the islands, the idiots were for a surprise, actually no a surprise at all, never pass trough their own sick minds that this foreing power will side with Britain without any consideration at all, what a "junta" of morons, when all this started no one will retreat to avoid loosing face of course this was not an option, no sir, the rest is a sad history particularly for Argentina, but in the other hand it finished the junta ruling and with that any future democratic coup d'état, democracy was reinstituted at last in this country once and for all after that ignomius and unnecessary war.
Two bald men, one comb, to abbreviate Borges.

I asked some Argentine friends recently if Alfonsín was the father of democracy in Argentina, who was the mother?

The answer soon emerged. Thanks Maggie!
The war was the worst that could have happened for the Argentine claim. The British position was much favorable towards Argentine sovereignty of the islands before the war. There were advance negotiations, and Tatcher's administration even made an offering of recognizing the island were Argentine.

Is hard to tell what exactly was the junta trying to accomplish, but my guess is they were aiming only for a minor diplomatic incident to stir up a bit of national pride. Kind of what happened between Spain and Morroco a few years ago, when Morroco invaded a tiny piece of rock in Spanish territory. There were a few soldiers involved, some diplomatic negotiations and that was it, nobody got hurt.

Of course the junta was completely wrong and showed a total lack of criteria. Even military speaking they fucked up by not sticking to the plan (that always existed as the falklands is an conflict hypothesis for the army). Clearly their objective was not to actualy recover the islands but to sustain their government a bit more.
Most Argentines I've talked to about it think it was a pointless war. They were fed a lot of propaganda during the war to lead them to believe they were winning. The loss of life was a waste. But ultimately, among those I've talked to, they concede that those living on the islands have no interest in being "Argentine" and that's where a large problem lies. If the people who live there wanted desperately to be Argentine (which I think they automatically are for the fact that they live there) then it might be a bigger issue. The people on the islands want their european citizenship.

I mention the war with people I am familiar with, and they have no issue talking about it. I don't strike up random conversations with strangers about it.
Just out of consideration was the idea of joint-sovereignty ever considered?