Guest Post – by: Ricky Phillips sourced from QUORA –
The Argentine’s corrupt serial abuse of The Falklands’
Sovereignty & Their War Crimes. …
Greg Lance – Watkins
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PRESUMABLY I told the Truth or Used a fact
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The Falklands were first discovered by English Captain John Davies in 1592 and first claimed by English Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins in 1594. Their first name was Hawkins Maiden Land.
Britain took Formal Possession in 1690, specifically restating the prior claim of 1594 and from 1700 onwards, the Falklands have appeared in the World Atlas as British.
In 1765 we made our first settlement in the Falklands, and have grown from there through to today, with the Falkland Islanders voting in 2013 by 99.8% to remain as part of the UK family of Overseas Territories.
It is the perfect model of peaceful and effective occupation.
The dispute opened in 1829 with Luis Vernet, granted permission to establish a private venture in the Falklands, going bankrupt and selling the Falklands to Argentina, which sparked the UK’s first Formal Diplomatic Protest.
In 1833 the UK took back possession peacefully, with the population opting to stay on in the Falklands as British subjects, and Argentina protested several times until 1849 when they signed the Convention of Settlement to settle all outstanding differences between both nations. There was not one Formal Diplomatic Protest from 1849-1946 and for 97 years, the matter was settled: in fact, from ratification of the Convention in 1850 until 1941, the Falklands weren’t mentioned once in the Argentine Congress. They forgot about them for 91 of those 97 years.
In 1946 with the foundation of the UN, Argentina raised the old issue as a means to unite the people behind a common cause. The UK invited Argentina to go to the ICJ over the Falklands and their dependencies in 1947, 1949 and 1951 but were refused, and in 1953 President Peron tried to buy the Falklands instead, but found his efforts in vain, and in 1955, again refused a unilateral invitation to go to the ICJ.
In the 1960s, Argentina brought the case before the UN General Assembly where Dr Jose Maria Ruda stood and told twelve consecutive lies a total of 36 times, to get Resolution 2065 passed, recognising the Argentine dispute and calling for a peaceful settlement in the spirit of negotiation and in line with the special considerations of UN Resolution 1514 on the Granting of Independence to colonial Countries and Peoples.
In 1969 the UK again invited Argentina to go to the ICJ over the Falklands, and again they refused, so we entered into the 1970 Communications Agreement to ease tensions. Argentina saw this as an opportunity to get its foot in the door, and ratcheted up pressure on a weak Foreign Office throughout the 70′s and into the very early 80’s, but the Falkland Islanders were having none of it, and in 1982 Argentina invaded them instead, violating Resolution 2065 and 502, and refusing another offer of mediation through the ICJ. Ten weeks after invading, Argentina had lost the war, although it refused to formally end hostilities until 1989 in the Madrid Accords.
Into the 1990s, Argentina again started to slowly increase its cause again, and in 1996 tried to buy the Falkland Islanders out individually, which the Falkland Islanders rejected. Argentina did, however, agree to move forward under the Sovereignty Umbrella agreement, so that we could deal with matters of common interest without speaking about the Falklands, but they continued to increase their activity in other areas, and to try to rally support.
In 2013 the UK government agreed to speak to Argentina about the sovereignty of the Falklands, but was left disappointed when Argentina now, despite its demands, walked out on the talks. That year, the Falkland Islanders held, on their own volition, an official referendum on their sovereignty, with UN observers, and voted by 99.8% for UK Sovereignty: Argentina refused to recognise the result.
In recent years, through to today, Argentina has become as intractable and intransigent as ever it was before the war, from harassment campaigns against Falkland Islanders, which took the form of orchestrated campaigns to phone them in the night and give them verbal abuse, to political stunts, a blockade, bullying their farmers at international exhibitions and even bullying and harassing the Falklands girls badminton team, which earned them a rebuke from the associated sporting body, and have cancelled and reneged upon all agreements with the UK, to include the Sovereignty Umbrella, the Foradori-Duncan Agreement and are even threatening to renege upon the Madrid Accords, effectively placing both Argentina and the UK in a state of conflict again.
The Argentine pseudo religious cause for the Falklands – islands which Argentina has never owned – has a direct correlation to the health of their failing economy, and the poorer they get, the more they shout, but it will change nothing.
Let me give a run down on the Falklands garrison and the threat level it has increased to. That should answer your ridiculous question:
Prior to 1964 the garrison of the Falklands was zero, then this happened:
Argentine pilot Miguel Fitzgerald flew his plane to the Falklands, landed illegally in Stanley and started harassing Islanders and putting up posters claiming the islands for Argentina. He returned home a national hero.
Result: Garrison increased to six Royal Marines.
Then in September 1966 eighteen armed terrorists from Argentina hijacked a plane, made the pilot divert to Stanley, tried to claim the Falklands for Argentina and install the Governor of Tierra del Fuego (who was on the plane) as Governor, and called on Argentine troops, then in the ocean on exercise, to come and support them. The Captain commanding the Royal Marines and the Police Chief, were taken at gunpoint, and luckily, the locals surrounded the plane and blared music at them until they couldn’t sleep and gave up. They were greeted as national heroes in Argentina.
But why stop there? Because just three weeks later the Argentine government sent a submarine, ARA Santiago del Estero to raid the Falklands with 12 Buzo Tactico special forces at Cow Bay, who stayed on the islands for two or three days before returning home. This wasn’t an idiot in a Cessna or some terrorists, but the Argentine military themselves.
Result: Garrison increased to 44 Royal Marines.
In 1968, just two years later, Miguel Fitzgerald came back, this time in a two engined plane with a reporter and one of the original 1966 Condor Terrorists, in a politically motivated and sponsored stunt to embaras the diplomatic visit of Lord Chalfont to Argentina. This time, the Islanders had placed obstacles on the race course (Stanley had no runway) and Fitzgerald crashed. He was duly returned and denied the victory of an official complaint, but it was obvious Argentina wasn’t giving up.
In 1969 the UK offered Argentina to go to the ICJ over the Falklands to resolve the dispute sensibly rather than put up with these threats. Argentina refused, saying it would not recognise the jurisdiction of the court.
It was obvious that Argentina did not want to actually resolve the issue, but to pull publicity stunts to bully the Falkland Islanders and excite the people at home. Rather than have this, the UK entered into the Communications Agreement with Argentina in 1970 to ease tensions, but it pretty much just let the wolf in the door and encouraged them. Already Argentine ships and planes were bullying, threatening and buzzing Falklands fishing vessels, and then, in 1974, the Argentine Destroyer ARA Almirante Storni opened fire on the unarmed British Polar Research Ship RRS John Biscoe, chasing it and announcing on the radio that it was in “Argentine Waters”.
Throughout the late 1970s to 1981 Argentina made very blatant announcements that it would invade the Falklands if it was not given to them, but the population resisted and fought for their rights. During this time, Argentina sent waves of priests to Stanley, who distributed tracts calling the Islanders “sinners” for not being Argentine, and telling them to “Give themselves to God” by which they meant Argentina. The Argentine tourists were worse; shoplifting in Stanley went up by hundreds, if not thousands of per cent, the tourists were noted for public urination and littering, posted “Malvinas Argentinas” slogans over town, and, advised by their government to “try to fraternise with the locals” took it too literally and used to knock on the doors of strangers in town calling on them to come out and fraternise! Worse came when two Argentine teachers, a husband and wife, came to teach the children Spanish. During the holidays, some children who were on a trip to Argentina, paid them a surprise visit, only to find their home adorned with Swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile, Argentina was trying to push a scheme of Falklands children studying in Argentina, but they soon all found themselves being put on TV with a pushy reporter urging them to say that the islands belonged to Argentina. This was fairly frequent.
This time, the UK did not reinforce the garrison, but the threats and signs of an invasion from a hateful and unpleasant neighbour were becoming obvious, and the Argentine newspapers spoke openly about using military action to take the Falklands by force.
Then in March 1982 Argentina installed a military force in South Georgia, posing as, or intermingled with scrap metal workers and scientists on legitimate business, led by mass murderer Alfredo Astiz. Constantino Davidoff, the leader of the expedition, had already failed once to observe passport and immigration control, and had been let go with a severe reprimand. He now did so again, deliberately, this time bringing armed Argentine Marines ashore, who hoisted the Argentine flag on British soil and took to shooting up the local wildlife.
Above: Astiz and his “scientists”.
Reaction: The Falklands garrison did not exchange the outgoing detachment for a new one, but retained both, sending 22 men to South Georgia and retaining the other.
On April 2nd 1982 Argentina invaded the Falklands with a force of 6,000 men carried in a dozen warships, to include an aircraft carrier, five ex American big gun Destroyers, two modern Destroyers, two missile Corvettes, an attack submarine, a tank landing ship, and an armed ice breaker, plus 21 amphibious armoured vehicles, half a battery of artillery and more. Their first act was to attempt to exterminate the Royal Marines in their beds, and after a battle, the Falklands had been taken. The next day, 350 Argentine Marines, two helicopters and a warship took on the 22 men on South Georgia with similar results.
Reaction: UK sends task force to the Falklands to remove the illegal invaders, and wins the Falklands war. Falklands garrison remains strong, but decreases over time.
Argentina refuses to accept that the war is over. Throughout the rest of 1982 they launch sorties, submarines and warships towards the Falklands in aggressive patrols and abortive raids. In December 1982 they raise their flag once again on the South Sandwich Islands, only for us to haul it down again and blow up their base.
In 1986 and 1987 they raid West Falkland and in December 2000 they raid East Falkland with the Buzo Tactico. In modern times, Argentina still uses ships, both military and civilian for ELINT purposes, and was on a clandestine raid in the ARA San Juan in 2017 when it sank – which they blamed us for initially – as meanwhile, they have torn up every agreement we have had with them, and as recently as January 2022 they stated that they were considering repealing the 1989 Madrid Accords, which formally ended the war. This would place the UK and Argentina technically back in a state of Hostilities.
Result: 1,300 military personnel, one patrol boat and four planes keep the peace.
This question asked if there is “Imperial Aggression” in the Falklands, and I say yes, there is: Argentine Imperial Aggression, and it has been going on for 60 years.
The UK garrison has only ever increased in line with the demonstrated Argentine threat level, and usually well below it. Everything that has happened has been a reaction to Argentine Imperial Aggression over the years, as I have demonstrated.
‘We must educate the Argentines’
Born in Buenos Aires before moving to the Falklands, Maria Strange is furious at her homeland’s ‘silly’ obsession with the islands.
Maria Strange shakes her head in anger and exasperation. Thirty seven years after she left her native Argentina and found a new life in the Falklands, she still cannot understand her countrymen’s attitude to the islands and what she calls their “silly claim”.
As the only Argentine citizen who remained on the islands throughout the 1982 invasion, she has had a unique perspective on the decades-long impasse that has pitched the country of her birth against the land she has adopted.
“The Argentines annoy me terribly and we really somehow need to educate them,” she said. “But it’s going to take so long for them to understand that this is not a part of Argentina and it isn’t a place full of people plonked here by the British government, which is what they like to believe.”
Now 65, Mrs Strange spoke to The Sunday Telegraph to express her dismay as her native land once again went on the warpath, this time over a British oil company launching exploratory drilling in the disputed waters off the Falklands – which Argentina still claims as it own.
Last week, Buenos Aires asked the United Nations to press Britain into fresh talks over the islands’ future. The row, which followed Argentina’s detention of a ship en route to the Port Stanley and threat of punitive measures against firms that do business there, seems all the odder to Mrs Strange because she remembers how little her countryfolk used to care about the islands.
Even before the war, only a handful of Argentines lived there – as with Patagonia, they consider it too cold and windy, she said – and the few who reside there now are all married to islanders. Inevitably, they are a community content to stay below the social radar. Mrs Strange only knows of three others – two men who work for the local government, one of them a former fireman, and the wife of a local wealthy businessman.
None has been there as long as her. Now 65, there is only a trace of foreign accent to her upper middle class English voice as she sits at her kitchen table in her Port Stanley house, a copy of The Guardian and a plate of chocolate Digestives in front of her.
She has played down her Argentinian roots ever since she arrived on the islands in 1972 with her first husband, an Anglo-Argentine whose uncle owned a large Falklands estate. Growing up as Maria Villanueva in a Buenos Aires suburb, she had been heavily influenced by an uncle who had fought for the RAF during the Second World War and persuaded her parents to send her to a British-run school.
“The Malvinas issue wasn’t there then,” she said. “We were taught at school that there were these little pink dots on the map and, I suppose, that they really belonged to Argentina, but I didn’t pay any attention. It meant nothing … I don’t think the people had been quite as brainwashed as they have since.”
She found the Falklands in the early 70s “absolutely charming, like something out of a picture book on Scottish Highland villages”. The islands were then socially deeply divided and the snobbery of the so-called “sheepocracy” of rich farmers, with their cocktail parties at the Governor’s House or the Colony Club, “has now happily faded away into something a little more democratic”, she said.
She later got divorced and married Ian Strange, a British naturalist who runs a reserve on West Falkland, finding a job as a secretary for the Falklands government. Now retired, she spoke to The Sunday Telegraph to express her dismay as the Argentines once again went on the warpath, this time over a British oil company’s drilling in dispute waters.
Despite warnings on the local radio the previous night, “it was complete and total shock” when, then a young mother with a months-old daughter, she opened her door one morning in April 1982 to find the streets full of tanks and troops. “It was horrible – it was like a rape,” she said. “It’s only much later that it has really sunk in.
“I thought I had found Utopia here. At the time, I could go back and visit my family in Argentina once a year, my child could easily have gone to school over there. It could have been the best of both worlds and then it was shattered by these stupid generals. I really resent that to this day.”
For seven years after the war, she could only get to Argentina via Britain.
The invasion, however, never alienated her from fellow islanders. She remembers a woman and noted “Argie-hater” who told her at a Government House dinner shortly after the war: “You’re all right, you’re one of us now.”
The reason was clear, she believes. “I think it made a big difference that I stayed on during the war. If anybody ever had any doubts about my loyalties the fact that I didn’t jump on the first plane back to Argentina – which I could have done – probably dispelled them.”
Her ability to speak Spanish came in useful when she was able to “fend off” soldiers who came into the neighbourhood trying to rip up fencing for firewood. In general, she felt pity for the conscripts “who had been sent to fight and really didn’t have any idea what it was all about” but only contempt for their commanders, who took over a house opposite. A “nasty bunch”, when they fled they left booby-traps and a kitchen full of fresh food, even though their troops had been starving out on the hills.
In contrast, a group of SAS men ended up sleeping on the Stranges’ floor for a few days. One of them returned a year ago to see the old battlefields and stayed again.
Mrs Strange has no sympathy at all with Argentina’s claim to sovereignty over the Falklands, although she considers it “a bit daft to be totally separate like we are now”.
That said, even if some Argentines are being more realistic, they know it would be “political suicide” for them to give up their claim to Las Malvinas, she added. “They’re never going to do that so it’s just this stalemate. It’s just so boring. I really can’t understand their thinking – the more they jump up and down, the less inclined people will be to take them seriously.
“Domestically they’re in chaos so it probably suits Mrs Kirchner to go around the Americas waving the flag. I would like to think that’s all it is but maybe we thought that was all it was back in 1980 and then the intelligence got it all wrong and ‘Bingo!'”
She laughed at suggestions, voiced by some of her political leaders, that put it down simply to the Argentine’s “hot Latin” temperament. “It goes beyond that. It’s like a national obsession but it’s a national obsession here, too,” she said. “Some people get voted on to the legislature because they wave the right flag.”
She remains struck by the ignorance that Argentine visitors display about the Falklands when she helps takes them on guided tours. When they realise it is a democracy, that the government pays for people to go to university and that there is virtually no crime, they seem “slightly envious”. And she has become good friends with some of the relatives of Argentinian troops who died, because she translates for them on their visits to the war graves. “I know their stance, they don’t ever voice it but obviously they’ve got people buried here and one day they must think the place will go over to Argentina. But they never say it,” she said. “They respect my position and I respect their unspoken views.
“But I still resent bunches of Argentines wandering around the streets and that’s a fallout from the original shock. I don’t mind going back to BA (Buenos Aires) but I’m much happier if they stay at home quite frankly.”
Maria Strange detects some signs of change in Argentina over the Malvinas issue, finding educated young Argentines who are “more open and simply curious about the Falklands”. But although she doubts it will come to war again, she is not convinced the Argentines will “sit back” as the islanders drill for oil and instead “could continue being a nuisance”.
Like other islanders, she is particularly worried that Argentina will put pressurise on LAN, the Chilean national airline (which now has strong interests in Argentina), to stop flying to the islands, leaving them with only the gruelling “air bridge” service to Britain as a means of flying to and from the Falklands.
Even so, she is convinced the islands have a bright future. “In the 1970s you wouldn’t have dreamt there’d be a thriving private sector and everybody on the legislative assembly would be locally elected. Confidence has grown enormously.
“We all moan about our government. But at least things do work and I can’t imagine them doing that with Argentines in charge of everything. Heaven forbid! It really could just fall to bits.”
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by – Ricky D. Phillips:
Why can’t Argentina have the Falklands?
It’s a bit like asking why France can’t just have the Azores… because they can’t. However, this is worth looking into in order to understand it better: (Get ready for a history lesson)
Firstly, Argentina has no legitimate claim to the Falklands. It has no right to them. The Falklands were first discovered by English Captain John Davis in 1592 and first claimed by English Admiral Sir Richard Hawkins in 1594 from where they received their first given name, “Hawkins Maiden Land”. This importantly makes England (and therefore the UK latterly by law of Succession of States) the lawful Original Sovereign, which is one of the most powerful terms in international law regarding territory.
At this time, international law wasn’t a very exact science but there were certain agreements one had to uphold. One was usage of that territory (no settlement was required) and the other was to publish newly claimed territories in the only pan-European newspaper, The Luxembourger, both of which were done. Yes, everyone knew they were British.
Go forward to 1690 and Great Britain, represented by Captain John Strong, sends a mission to the Falklands, convened by Anthony Carey, 5th Viscount Falkland and Head of the Navy, to take Formal Possession. Strong becomes the first man to set foot on the Falklands and plants the British flag. The mission then maps and charts the islands and finally, with a decent enough idea of them, they are published to the world in the 1700 World Atlas under their new name of “Falkland’s Islands” and then in the revised 1702 edition finally as “The Falkland Islands”.
At around this time, somewhere between 1702–1708 French sailors from St Malo started to put in on the Falklands for shelter and referred to them as “Malouines” and it was first seen in writing between 1708–1710 although France claimed no sovereignty. Then France lost “New France” – which we now call Canada – to Britain and things began to change.
French Admiral Antoine de Bougainville, had to sign the surrender in Canada and French Foreign Minister Henri de Choiseul, had the ignominious duty to formally sign the cession of New France over to Britain. From there, they became close friends who seethed to punish the British for humiliating them, in the most decisive way they could: they were going to conquer Britain itself.
Choiseul hit upon an old plan which had nearly worked a few times before. He needed to distract the British army so that he could send a force to attack London, and so he called upon Bonnie Prince Charlie. This was in 1758, twelve years after Culloden, and the Prince was no longer the beautiful hero of his youth but a corpulent alcoholic. He turned up late, he turned up drunk, he was impossible to work with and then exploded at Choiseul, who somehow didn’t quite understand that the Highland clans had been broken up and that there was no more Highland army. Choiseul dismissed him, but the idea was firmly set.
Fast forward a few more years and Bougainville and Choiseul have a brainwave: They’re going to land displaced Acadians (French Canadians) on these new “Falkland Islands” and pretend they’ve just discovered them. Then, using a clause from the Treaty of Utrecht, they will throw their hands in the air, declare “mea culpa” and give these islands to Spain. When Britain finds out, there will be a war 8,000 miles south and with the Royal Navy away, the French invasion can begin. Choiseul, convinced he’s got a cast iron strategy, even submits three different plans for the invasion to the War Ministry (which still exist in their archives) for an invasion requiring no less than 100,000 men. There’s one glitch though: the British have announced they are getting ready to build a settlement and France has to act quickly.
In late 1764 the French land there first and begin building Port Louis on East Falkland as a few months later, in early 1765 the British land on West Falkland and begin building Port Egmont. The British had no idea that the French were there.
Then in 1767 France throws the door open to Spain and offers them the islands and the Spanish, full of bluster and a faux ruptured pride, set off… and can’t find the Falklands. A second time they try… still nothing. Finally, Bougainville has to take them himself, describing the Falklands as “Some islands which no Spaniard has ever been to or seen and which, seemingly, they are unable to find for themselves.”
Here was the rub; Bougainville quite liked the islands and was getting rather annoyed at haughty Spanish pretensions to them and assertions that they were theirs all along, whilst they couldn’t even find them. Finally the day came for a deal which, oddly, was only for East Falkland, and here they tripped up. Bougainville put in his terms that he would sell them to the Spanish. The Spanish, asserting that anything in this part of the globe must be theirs by Papal decree (a complete croc, but there you go) say no, they will only compensate Bougainville for his time and for costs incurred in building the settlement. In the end, neither agree, but both pretend to, and both sides diddle the other in this sham of a deal over stolen British property.
Finally, British and Spanish sailors meet when a British ship, seeing a floundering Spanish vessel, go to help, and then find themselves abused and told to go away. Spain rages and shouts about the British presence and in London, a Spanish Prince arrives with an entourage of diplomats, enquiring after the British title to sovereignty. He is shown the maps, the atlas, the charts, the newspaper and so on, and agrees that yes, Britain has the prior right.
In Madrid, this doesn’t go down too well, so it is determined to find out the validity of the British claim and the acknowledged leading expert in international sovereignty law, the Italian Foreign Minister, is asked to look at the case and pronounce upon who owned the Falklands.
In Versailles, there is a meeting in which finally, the Italian Foreign Minister bursts in and announces his findings: Spain has been sold a dead dog. The French have diddled them. The Falklands are British. The Spanish go crazy at Bougainville and Choiseul who are right on cue, as Choiseul suggests that, in that case, Spain had better attack and remove the British settlement before it gets any bigger. In 1770 Spain attacks and it’s no competition. The British are eradicated.
In London, this outrage is condemned and George III vows revenge. Choiseul’s plan is working perfectly. The British mobilisation, however, is off the chart. Inside a month, Britain readies fifty new warships whilst Spain barely manages ten, and then George III announces to hell with fighting the Spanish in the Falklands, we’re going to attack mainland Spain. The Spanish king has apoplexy, rounds on his ministers yelling “I told you I did not want war!” and quickly backs down, apologises for the faux pas and agrees to restore Port Egmont and recognise West Falkland as British. Britain says “Thank you, but it’s all British, remember? You got conned.”
Choiseul’s plan is in tatters, and Britain and Spain coexist in the Falklands, each pretending the other doesn’t exist, but realising how close they had come to a French plot. Both sides agree to retrench and talk about it another day. Britain leaves in 1775 after leaving a flag flying and a plaque claiming the Falklands with a promise to return at a better time. Spain reneges on the deal and promptly removes the plaque, staying on East Falkland. The British still utilise the Falklands for fishing and shelter and administer them through the Admiralty and in 1802 at the Treaty of Amiens, Napoleon and Talleyrand even ask Lord Cornwallis if they could be a bartering point, although he refused.
Eventually, by 1811 the Spanish, having turned Port Louis into a penal colony, decide to pull out too. Spain is under attack by Napoleon and Britain is now its greatest ally. The Falklands are now empty.
Then, in 1820 an American pirate in the service of Buenos Aires, Daniel Jewett, crash lands there after a storm and a mutiny on his ship. He finds British ships in port and starts waving guns about, claiming the islands for Buenos Aires Province, but he leaves soon after, bound for Buenos Aires. He issues a highly detailed 13 page report in which he doesn’t even mention going to the Falklands (despite mentioning everything else) and leaves Buenos Aires shortly after, in an argument about pay. Only 13 months later does an article appear in the Salem Gazette in America, claiming Jewett had been there. The incident goes unnoticed.
By 1825 the now independent United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata begin to form Argentina and put together a detailed list of all territories, islands, longitudes and latitudes claimed by the new state, in order to get international recognition. This list did not include the Falklands and Britain accepted Argentina as such, signing the Treaty of Friendship and Trade.
In 1826 a German businessman, Luis Vernet, asks for permission to start a ranching business on the Falklands and Britain, under pressure from the Dutch to do something with these islands, or else they’d like a go, decide that Vernet could fit the bill nicely. They know he is dodgy. He claims to be French and has a vague past, but despite concerns: “He had more of the diplomat about him than rancher” and even considering how we might use him in some diplomatic role, the British give their permission. What wasn’t known was that Vernet had also asked Buenos Aires for permission and had already tried one venture there and failed. This new venture fails also, but Vernet asks British permission to return and try again, and is accepted. He continues to send back regular reports to the British on his progress in building what they rightfully assume is their settlement.
By 1828 Vernet has failed for a third time and is now bankrupt. He dare not ask Britain for help in case he is told to get out, so he turns to the government of Buenos Aires, especially as they owe him money. They have no money, so send a ship with weapons and their own flag, and Vernet claims the Falklands.
Britain protests and Buenos Aires ignores it as Vernet turns to piracy and attacks three American ships. The USA sends the USS Lexington to bombard the settlement and arrest the leading men (although Vernet had by now left, never to return) and the remaining people there, a mixture of British, German, African, West Indian and gaucho, are abandoned. Some still try piracy to supplement themselves. The USA readies another mission but asks Britain if it would like to step in, and with a second diplomatic protest having been ignored, the British agree to go. On January 3rd 1833 HMS Clio arrives to find a small garrison of Buenos Aires soldiers and the warship Sarandi.
The British advise the Sarandi’s Captain Pinedo that he’s on British land and tell him to go. Pinedo blusters and considers making a fight of it, but leaves under protest. The good news is, his men were packed and ready to go anyway, as their own orders were to abandon the place before January 5th. The people on the islands are fed, paid and encouraged to stay on as British subjects and only four people; two Uruguayans and two Brazilians, decide to leave. The rest stay on. Meanwhile, Buenos Aires protests to Britain (suddenly remembering how protests work) and Britain now returns the favour and ignores them.
Vernet is put up for charges of piracy and is only saved when Buenos Aires legitimizes him, but then seeks compensation from Britain, claiming that he was always in favour of British sovereignty and should have been protected. In the end, Britain pays him to go away.
In 1848 there is a great convention in Lima, Peru, where Spain, realising it’s a bit silly to pretend it owns South America still, presides over the partition and cession of its former lands under a new principle called “Uti Possidetis Juris” a signed and agreed act of cession. Everyone turns up to the Lima Convention except for Argentina, who refuse to sign up to it.
In 1849 Britain and Argentina agree to end their differences with the Convention of Settlement which settles all outstanding issues and restores perfect friendship. This treaty was governed by the overarching clause that “All disputed territory, unless specifically mentioned in the treaty, is to remain with the conqueror and his title cannot afterwards be called into question.”
Argentine President Rosas enquired after Lord Palmerston if he (Rosas) had signed away the claim to the Falklands and was told yes. Rosas had already written twice to Palmerston offering to do just that, first in return for a cancellation of loans from Barings Bank (which was refused) and then as a sweetener for other Argentine conditions. Palmerston replied “I understand the matter to be exactly as described by you in your letters” after which, Argentina ratified the treaty in 1850.
From 1849–1946 Argentina issued not one formal diplomatic protest to the UK, nor was the word “Malvinas” mentioned once in Congress from 1850–1941. It is evident that Argentina had given up any loose or spurious pretensions to claiming the Falklands.
In 1863 Spain finally recognised Argentina as a country, but without the Falklands, as evidenced by the fact that in that same year, Spain finally recognised British sovereignty over them and, as a final nail in the coffin to any Argentine claims, in 1882, the Argentine government pronounced all formative acts of the original government of Buenos Aires to be null and void. In short, anything Jewett or Vernet did was now illegitimate in Argentine eyes.
The Falklands grew, the new capital of Stanley was built and people migrated there. In 1914 they watched British warships pummel the German fleet on their doorsteps as Falklands men went off to war. From 1939–1945 the Falklands sent more men, started a war fund and financed ten spitfires for the battle of Britain… and then at the war’s end, in 1946, Argentina, after 97 years of accepting British sovereignty, suddenly raised it’s hand and said, “Malvinas?”
So why can’t the Falklands just be given to Argentina, the question asked… because they’re British, that’s why. Because Argentina has no claim to our islands or our people, and because in 2013 those same people, whose ancestors were there before 1833, voted 99’8% for British sovereignty and achieved self determination.
The matter is settled.
Perhaps the Argentinian’s would have done well to have refrained from lies about their association with The Falkland Islands, which Britain had claimed 200 years before Argentina became a Country or a Nationality!
However we do know that Argentinian leaders have promoted external strife to distract from their massive internal problems and we are all aware that a sad part of their propaganda and dishonesty has been excercised to cover up for the many members of their population whom they have deliberately disappeared from life! The 1,000s murdered without trace largely for daring to speak out against the regime.
One must also remember the diabolical poverty of so many under the dictatorial opulence of their leaders!
Do note that the misinformation regarding the history of The Falkland Isles was not the only flaw in the education of Argentinians – The majority of their population and their leaders include have failed to read Rudyard Kipling, to help them to understand their folly may I suggest they start by reading this poem and then seaking further enlightenment by reading ‘IF’ and his other poetry and books:
Norman and Saxon
“MY son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for my share
When we conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:—
“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, “This isn’t fair dealings,” my son, leave the Saxon alone.
“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears,
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.
“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes you all day.
“They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark,
It’s the sport not the rabbits they ’re after (we ’ve plenty of game in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man-at-arms you can find.
“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em a lie!”
Forgive the Argentinians for their folly but make no mistake,
the forgiveness will vanish like mist in the sunshine if the mistake is repeated!
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