Arturo Puricelli – A Man in Need of Some Reality

I see the mad Puricelli is at it again.

Somebody in the Argentine Government thought it would be a good laugh to promote  the man to Defence Minister. Not a job that should carry too much weight, as Argentina has been starving its military of funds for decades. A depleted Argentine armed force is not in itself a bad thing, as they’ve had a nasty habit of taking over the place every time they disagreed with the way the country was being run. Which was pretty well always.

Argentina can, of course, thank the British for breaking this particular cycle. The defeat of the military junta in the Falklands War was just too embarrassing for them to take, and as a result – democracy arrived. Good for us, we did them a favour.

And do they appreciate it? No! Of course they don’t. But they do still have a sense of humour.

Argentine Defence Minister Arturo Puricelli, is obviously no threat to the political system. Whatever world he lives in, it ain’t this one. According to the head of Argentina’s armed forces, the Falkland Islands are under siege and the inhabitants held against their will.

” It is so obvious the (UK) can only think in a fortress supported with strong budgets; they have no other reason for such a display of force but that to hold as hostages the 2000 people confined in South Atlantic islands that are Argentine sovereignty,” said this bumbling fool, whose grasp of geography needs some attention too.

No. They are not being held as hostages and no, the Islands are not, and never have been, Argentine territory.

I suppose the upside is, with Puricelli in charge of the army, the chance of another coup is low.

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/argentina-is-not-a-complete-nation-says-timerman/

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Self Determination Call at the United Nations

Nice speech from Malawi at the United Nations yesterday.

Foreign Minister Arthur Peter Mutharika, speaking to the UN’s General Assembly, said that the United Nations must renew its commitment to ensure that the world’s 16 remaining non-self-governing territories, home collectively to nearly two million people, are able to exercise their right to self-determination, before going on to praise those Administering Powers which had provided an opportunity for people in their non-self-governing territories to freely choose their destiny.

As there aren’t too many ‘Administering Powers’ left, the presumption must be that he has recognised the United Kingdom’s committment to ensuring that its Overseas Territories (OTs) are as self-determining as possible.

In that vein, the UK’s Minister for the Overseas Territories, Henry Bellingham has just invited all 280,000 residents of the OTs to send their views into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with a new White Paper due early in 2012.

Malawi’s Foreign Minister also called upon the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization (C24), “to pursue genuine dialogue aimed at finding fresh and more creative ways to eradicate colonialism.”

My views on the dysfunctional and discredited C24 are well-known, but maybe there’s always a glimmer of hope that they’ll get past the obfuscation of Argentina’s annual input and actually recognise that their job is to assist the peoples of the Non-Self Governing Territories to determine their own futures. Not to play sovereignty politics.

The thing I enjoyed most about Peter Mutharika’s reported speech is that he talked about the 16 names on the C24’s list. Not 15!

Malawi is a member of the G77 + China Group. Remember them?

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39859&Cr=self+determination&Cr1=

Argentine Belligerence

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst, political commentator and occasional writer on the Falkland Islands for the British Telegraph newspaper.

Yesterday, in his commentary on the latest twists and turns at the United Nations, which has seen the Falklands issue appear both in the annual speech by Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and at the weekend meeting of the G77 + China group, Mr. Gardiner issued the following warning.

“There can be no room for complacency in London as Kirchner seeks re-election in October. Britain should be prepared for a further escalation in tensions over the Islands if her nationalist and populist administration is returned to office in an emboldened position, and must take all necessary steps to reinforce the Falkland’s defences.”

As a former aide to Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner has a particular insight into the type of belligerent politics used by Argentina on the subject of the Falkland Islands, and the means best able to counter those.

Strong action appears to be his recommendation.

There is no doubt that the Islands are possibly the one subject able to unite Argentines, and as a result, the rhetoric increases at every election and in other times of trouble.

Argentina is not immune to the world’s financial ills and finds herself unable to access the major financial institutions due to the default of 2002. Unwilling to accept any advice from the IMF, who look with suspicion on Argentina’s official statistics, and unable to reach a settlement with the Paris Club, the South American State’s financial health is open to question. Every time this has happened before the Government in Buenos Aires has raised the Falklands as a smoke screen.

The United Kingdom has stated its position clearly. There will be no negotiation unless the Islanders’ wish it. With Presidential elections due next month, this subject will gain more prominence and the British Government should remain resolute. Kirchner’s re-election is virtually assured and she will be confident of gaining ground.

She should be denied it!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100106691/britains-message-to-argentina-over-the-falklands-back-off/

G77 + China – Who ?

According to yesterday’s Buenos Aires Herald, the G77 + China has made a statement insisting that Britain returns to the negotiating table and discusses the Falkland Islands with Argentina.

How many times does Britain have to say ‘No’ before the message finally gets through?

The Group of 77 + China, which makes 78 according to my maths, apparently now has 132 members. Made up of supposedly ‘developing’ countries, the list of members includes such notable advocates of freedom and democracy as China, Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe. Indeed, a large proportion of them fall under the general heading of ‘flawed democracies’, if not downright dictatorships.

And they presume to try to tell Britain that it should ignore the United Nation’s founding Charter and ride roughshod over the wishes and the interests of a Non-self Governing Territory, that the same UN has committed the United Kingdom to take care of under Article 73.

Shouting about a ‘colony’ in an attempt to fudge the issue of the Islanders’ right to determine their own future, we have a bunch of lame banana Republics attempting to apply pressure on the one country that sustains a fair few of them. The same country that allowed those ex-colonies of the British Empire to fully exercise their own rights to an independent future. Good enough for them but not for the Falkland Islanders’ apparently. Why? Maybe because the Falkland Islanders are not the correct colour to have any rights. Not dark enough to be seen as a colonial peoples.

But that’s what they are.

Britain should defiantly wave two fingers at the ridiculous G131+ China, and look to immediately stop any development money that it still forks out to this ungrateful  bunch.

After all, the money saved could be better employed on a few more missiles in the South Atlantic.

We’ll get out of the Falklands when China gets out of Tibet !

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/jorge-arguello-claims-new-support-over-the-falklands/

Britain Replies to Argentina at the UN

Following the Argentine Presidents repeated claim and threats at the United nations this week, the delegation from the United Kingdon submitted a written reply –

” In exercise of the right of reply to the remarks made by the President of the Argentine Republic in the general debate on 21 September 2011.

“The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. The United Kingdom Government attaches great importance to the principle and right of self-determination as set out in Article 1.2 of the Charter of the United Nations and Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That principle underlies our position on the Falkland Islands. There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish.

The United Kingdom’s relationship with all its overseas territories is a modern one based on partnership, shared values and the right of each territory, including the Falkland Islands, to determine if it wishes to retain a link to the United Kingdom.

The democratically elected representatives of the Falkland Islands once again expressed their own views clearly when they visited the United Nations for this year’s debate in the Special Committee of 24. They asked the Committee to recognise that self-determination is a universal human right, and respect for this principle is enshrined in the UN Charter as one of purposes this Organisation. They made clear they, like any other people, are entitled to exercise the right of self-determination. They reiterated the historical facts that the Falkland Islands had no indigenous people and that no civilian population was removed prior to their people settling on the Islands over 178 years ago. They confirmed that they are and have been the only people of the Falkland Islands, and they did not wish for any change in the status of the Islands. They lamented the measures adopted by the Republic of Argentina that unlawfully aim to limit both their transport links and their access to open and free trade.

The Falkland Islands Government is entitled to develop both fisheries and hydrocarbons industries within its own waters. This right is an integral part of the right of self-determination, which is expressly contained in Article 1.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It states that all peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

The United Kingdom continues to believe that there are many opportunities for co-operation in the South Atlantic. However, in recent years the Republic of Argentina has rejected these opportunities. It withdrew from co-operation on the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, and in 2007 repudiated the 1995 Joint Declaration on Hydrocarbons. The Republic of Argentina placed a ban on charter flights travelling to the islands in 2003. It has also introduced domestic legislation to restrict shipping to the islands and penalise companies who wish to do business in or with the Falkland Islands.

The United Kingdom has maintained an unchanged defensive military posture in the South Atlantic for over 29 years. This includes routine military exercises. The United Kingdom remains fully committed to defending the rights of the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their own political, social and economic future.”

Says it all !

 

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/fernandez-rejected-at-the-un/

Cristina Fernandez – Head Down at the UN

A few hours ago we had the usual rant to the United Nations General Assembly, from Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who repeated her annual demand for the UK to sit down and talk about the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

Once again referring to the distance between Britain and its Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic, the President said, ” It is obvious the UK cannot claim sovereignty over a territory that’s 14,000 kilometres away from their land. We are not asking the UK to sit to accept right away sovereignty talks, we are asking the UK to comply with the UN General Assembly resolutions, and not necessarily with the 29 resolutions from the Decolonization Committee, or the so many others statements from the OAS, Mercosur, Unasur, and other Latam-African and Asian forums.”

Nothing new then; although she included a threat to the current regular flight between Chile and Mount Pleasant Airport that uses Argentine airspace, added the old moan about the oil exploration programme and tried to raise the status of the discredited Decolonisation Committee by referring to its annual decision-making as ‘Resolutions’.

Typically she remains unenlightened as to international law, which is hardly a good thing for a country’s chief lawmaker.

Geography is irrelevant. 14,000 or a million, it makes no difference. International law dismissed geography as a reason in sovereignty cases way back in 1928, but apparently Argentina didn’t like that decision so adopts the ostrich position.

A similar ‘head-down’ stance can be seen in her failure to recognise, again, that as a ‘colony’ listed by the UN as a ‘Non-Self Governing Territory’, the Islanders’ have the right, in international law, to determine their own future.

As for the Decolonisation Committee! A biased sub-Committee of the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly. Whatever it produces, it ain’t Resolutions.

So, nothing much different from the previous three speeches to the UN’s General Assembly. Just the threat to the air service agreement. Cristina must have read recently about how important that flight is to breakfast for the Falklanders, most of whom must be egg-bound looking at the figures.

But then Argentina has a reputation for breaking formal agreements; Treaties or otherwise. In July 1832, Francis Baylies, the United States Chargé d’affaires in Buenos Aires wrote to his State Department opposing a Treaty between the two countries, “…  for we would abide by it, and they would consider the violation of a treaty no greater offense than a lie told by a schoolboy …. “

No problem; they’ll blame the British, they always do! And that about sums up Argentina.

Till next year then!

 

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/cristina-fernandez-at-the-un/

http://falklandstimeline.wordpress.com/1823-1833/

http://en.mercopress.com/2011/09/21/argentine-president-at-un-threatens-to-suspend-falklands-air-link-with-chile#comment65076

Oil Investment – Pros and Cons

News today from TELAM, the official Argentine news agency, that President Cristina Fernandez is on her way to New York next week for her annual speech to the United Nations. Unsurprisingly the news agency added that one of the main thrusts of her speech would be Argentina’s everlasting whine about the Falklands and the fact that Britain won’t sit down to negotiate.

Same speech as last year then, and the one before. Saves the speechwriters from thinking too much I suppose, although there may be more emphasis on oil this time.

Rockhopper’s news about its plans to take the find to a production phase will have hurt. It’s the one thing that Argentina’s politicians prayed would not happen. Why? Because an oil-producing Falklands makes the Overseas Territory totally self sufficient, and with their promise to contribute towards the Islands’ defence removes one source of antagonism with the British public. The only source of complaint, in these days of cost cutting.

So next week, the ‘Falklands Question’ will become the ‘Oil Question’.

There are a lot of opinions being expressed in the press about the viability of an oil production plan and whether or not Rockhopper Exploration can raise the necessary funding, which brings me back to yesterdays news.

The Foreign Office is to reassure the City that this Government is committed to the Islands’ defence. As I said, yesterday’s news. But there is one other ‘Question’ in the midst of all the speculation.

Who asked for the Foreign Office to provide some reassurance?

The obvious answer would be Rockhopper who desperately need the reinforcement in order to negotiate with the money men. But I’m not so sure. The Foreign Office have a history of viewing the Falklands as a nuisance; an irritation to better relations with South America and Brazil in particular. It is very well-known that the present British Government wish to dramatically improve their relationship with South America’s big performer. Even in the face of Brazil’s support for Argentina.

So Rockhopper are merely a part of the problem as far as the Foreign Office are concerned, and unlikely to get any swift support.

Maybe it wasn’t Rockhopper then. So who?

Could it be that some, even many, of the big investment houses in the City of London are seriously considering putting their money in? Seriously looking at the pros and cons? Weighing the risks?

Now they could generate a swift response from the notoriously lumbering Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Don’t you think?

http://falklandsnews.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/fortress-falklands-protecting-the-oil/

http://en.mercopress.com/2011/09/19/foreign-office-to-meet-rockhopper-investors-over-falklands-oil-plans#comment64744