The Falklands Vote

Mar 13 2013 @ 2:42pm

99.8% of the islands’ residents voted to remain British subjects. Nile Gardener struts a bit:

The [Argentine President] Kirchner regime can rage all it likes, but it has no prospect of seizing the Falklands. For as long as its inhabitants wish to remain under the protection of the Crown, Britain will defend them, and stand up to Argentina’s threats and intimidation. Argentina’s government claims the Falklands will be theirs within 20 years. This is the language of delusion, and the stuff of pure fantasy, the pathetic ranting of a failed presidency, which cares little for the prosperity of its own people, and nothing at all for the freedom and liberty of the Falkland Islanders.

Seamus Milne is unsatisfied, claiming the issue at hand isn’t the opinion of the British occupants, but Argentina’s right to the territory:

[S]urely the islanders have the right to self-determination, it’s argued, even if they’re 300 miles from Argentina and the other side of the world from Britain. They certainly have a right to have their interests and way of life protected, and to self-government. But the right of self-determination depends on who is deciding the future of what territory – and since the dispute is about whether the islands are part of Argentina or not, it’s also about who should exercise that right.

The Economist suspects Argentina sees things the same way:

No matter how overwhelming the Yes vote, it will not shift the position of the Argentine government, which claims sovereignty over the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas. “Self-determination does not apply to Las Malvinas,” the Argentine foreign minister, Héctor Timerman, told British politicians in London last month. And it is unlikely to make much difference to the views of ordinary Argentines either. A recent poll found that only 15% thought the islanders should get to decide their own future, and 59% that the islanders’ wishes were simply irrelevant to who held sovereignty over the island. Other South American governments support Argentina’s claim and its desire for bilateral negotiations, without the islanders present, to resolve the territorial dispute.