Ok I'm going to contribute my penny's worth here because this forum is the only place where I feel safe to do so ... I never go there in the company of natives, because it's such a taboo subject among Argentines, regardless, in my experience, of their ideological colour or outlook.
I was gobsmacked by the sheer childishness of Timermann's reaction to the notion of having Falkland/Malvinas residents present at a discussion with the British Foreign Minister. The use of the term 'colonos malvinenses' is a mind-numbing hypocrisy from whatever way I can conceivably look at it. What difference is there between them and the Welsh who live in Trelew? or any Argentine who isn’t a descendent of the pueblos originarios? The indisputable fact is that the entire population of region are ‘colonos’ except for the Tehuelches, and nobody, absolutely nobody, in this country are remotely interested in recognising any right of self-determination for them. Before using that kind of language, Timermann would do well to recognise that he and the vast majority of Argentines are by this logic ‘colonos’.
It’s sad to see that sabre-rattling about the Malvinas is still such an unavoidable requirement for any Argentine politician. The simple fact of a diplomat refusing to talk to people with whom his government is in dispute demonstrates that being seen to be tough is the objective, not finding a resolution that would make anybody’s lives better. So infantile!
I’m disappointed that, except for a few muffled voices (Jorge Lanata is one, although quite a headbanger on other issues), nobody has had the courage to start a debate in this country. I’m particularly perplexed by the Argentine left for parroting a load of cliché that implicitly results in an apology for the actions of a fascist dictatorship. A few months ago the BBC interviewed people at a ‘Quebracho’ demonstration outside the British embassy. The reporter asked “don’t you think the residents of the islands have rights?”. The answer was: “nosotros tambien tenemos derechos”… Great… for these ‘anti-imperialists’, it is their ‘right’ that other people, who live thousands of kilometres away on a windswept, rain-sodden sheep plain, because they want to and because they call it home, should have to go and f**k themselves.
As a person who identifies emotionally and intellectually with the left, I feel embarrassed when I hear twaddle like this, and in my view the failure to rise above it is (another) disappointing aspect of this government. For me, one of the indisputable achievements of Kitchnerismo has been the ending of impunity for human rights abusers and the restoration democratic due process. A logical and progressive break from their fascist predecessors would have been to recognise that the Falklanders, who like many of those who back Kirchnerismo, also looked down the gun barrel of the fascist regime. They, and the dead on both sides from the 1982 conflict, were also its victims. What democratic Argentina should now be saying, and demonstrating, is that the fascist phase is over. Concrete offers of cooperation – the exact opposite of the current policy – lowering tension, building confidence, demonstrating that this Argentina is different, without renouncing Argentina’s historic claim, would be much more likely to bear some medium-term fruit on the sovereignty issue.