“What the hell is the big deal with the Falkland Islands?”
“Don’t call them that.” our friends in Salta said in unison.
Apparently it is quite the sore issue. We were encroaching on Dia de las Malvinas and like my ignorance of Lima, Peru, I had to find out what was going on.
Las Malvinas/The Falkland Islands have been under the United Kingdom rule since they reestablished their reign in 1833. Over the next 150 years, the United Kingdom did try to make diplomatic negotiations with Argentina but, for various reasons, they all fell through. In 1982, Argentina decided to take them back.
Now, here is where it gets interesting. Many people say they attacked to divert the attention away from the miserable economy at the time. From what I understand, it was a failboat mission to begin with. Not only did they only send a few hundred Argentine soldiers out there to take an island from the UK (umm… wow), but didn’t bother to really send reinforcements or many supplies during their winter months.
Needless to say the UK won in that situation and never bothered to really offer the islands back to Argentina. That, and well, people have been there so long under UK rule that they consider themselves British citizens and don’t want to be part of Argentina.
Argentina still holds that they have every right to Las Malvinas/The Falkland Islands and the current President Kirchner, vows to make it her topmost priority. Never mind the failing economy again (can we say another diversion?), but the islands must be theirs!
As of the most recent Americas Summit, Kirchner walked out as no one would take her claim on the islands seriously.
The San Martin Park in Buenos Aires has a monument for the fallen soldiers (and their fallen lands) that is guarded by servicemen at all times along with a photographic “representation” put up during the observance time of the Las Malvinas war. My mouth was frothing at how amazingly the propaganda was digested so easily (and I do realize that BOTH sides have propaganda, it is just that this side was more readily available). As a media studies major, I could see right through it. Make sure to check out the captions on the pictures. There really are some interesting ones.