The Malvinas Issue and the South Atlantic

The Malvinas Issue and the South Atlantic

“Malvinas (1) is not just an Argentine issue, but a worldwide cause”. With the above phrase, in the last Mercosur Summit (the trading block that includes Argentine, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay) in Montevideo (December 21), Argentine´s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (before being appointed chairman of this body) geopolitically summarised the South Atlantic conflict with England, as this issue should not only be limited to a mere diplomatic disagreement or sovereignty dispute on the colonial occupation of Malvinas Archipelago (claimed by Argentina since 1833, after the invasion and deportation of local dwellers). She also claimed: “They are taking our fishing resources, but they will eventually need more and they will try to find them anywhere and by any means”. This leads us to analyse and point out the decision taken by Mercosur in order to stop any ship with Malvinas’ flag from entering any seaport of our partner countries. This decision agrees with the “Gaucho Rivero” Law, which prevents any ship or vessel heading to Malvinas (on fishing or petrol search) from mooring and refueling in any port of the Argentine provinces which have already voted it; for example, Chubut, Tierra del Fuego, and lately Santa Cruz.

This brought up a typical reaction from the occupying power, which through the Foreign and Defense Office, referred to this issue as the isolation, hedging and suffocation of the islands under dispute between Mercosur and Prime Minister Cameron. The latter has sent a nuclear submarine to this area -with the latest in equipment and armament- to strengthen a military coup that almost equals the number of Malvinas´ inhabitants, and in which the English units practice their manoeuvres before heading to their combat zones around the world (apart from being used as a NATO base). 

It was clear that England was cautious and restricted the conflict to a disagreement over Malvinas´ sovereignty, and that is why, we underline the words of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as she analysed the issue within the frame of a continental and worldwide conflict. We support this argument for several reasons; firstly, because it is not just a conflict over Malvinas islands, it is over all the islands: South Sandwich and South Georgia Island plus an area of 350 nautical miles, representing a vast maritime territory (being this even more important each day as a source of mineral and food resources to be exploited), which lies within the dispute over the new Law of the Sea Convention, voted by the UN (2); secondly: as part of the agenda for South America of its strategic partner: the USA, as this is a support base for the IV North American Fleet, which a few years ago was reactivated to patrol the Caribbean, the South Atlantic and Antarctica – in overview, Which might be the danger perceived by Washington is still a question without any answers; thirdly: the Antarctic importance of the islands under controversy, being this the last continent non-economically exploited, but which is scientifically known as a source of non- renewable resources to be exploited soon within the context that Great Britain submitted to the UN an Antarctic territorial claim which overlaps with any claim made by Chile and Argentina .

We live in a world in which we daily fight for food and energy resources at any price, England is running out of petrol resources in the north sea, the financial and economic crisis of the Great Britain powers - being the same for US - is not going to stop, South America is undergoing a time of political, social and economic growth around the world – which was not even imagined a few years ago- and for this reason it is being tempted by emerging powers (China, India and Russia) to make new strategic alliances which might overturn the concept of traditional dependency relationships over the last years. Within this scene, it is of vital importance to be conscious of the conflict with England, as this is not just against Argentina, but also against all the South American continental scope, above described as a statement made by the Argentine President, who was supported by Mercosur and the UNASUR for the goodwill of all South Americans.


(1) Islas Malvinas - the Argentinian name of the Falkland Islands.

(2) Great Britain is under dispute with Argentina over more than 3.000.000 km2 of continental platform in Malvinas, Georgia, Sandwich Islands and Antarctica. It is considered the worst controversy over maritime territories in the world.

Tags: Argentina