Falkland Islanders Uninterested in Becoming Argentinian

Between 1600, and 1820, the Falkland Islands were been claimed by the Dutch, French, British, Spanish, and finally, the nation which would become Argentina.

fkmapDue to the ambiguity of peace treaties during those years, multiple nations have often claimed the islands, but the United Kingdom has occupied the islands since 1833.

In 1982, the ruling military junta in Argentina led an invasion of the islands. It is widely understood that the invasion was intended as a nationalistic diversion to distract the country from the civil unrest over the military dictatorship.

Now, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s current president, dredged up the dispute again, possibly to distract citizens from a national malaise, as the country struggles through the impacts of bad economic policy, and political policies trending towards Fascism. Argentina’s Minister of Foreign Relations undiplomatically threatened that the Falklands would be “under Argentine control within 20 years” on a visit to London in February this year.

At the beginning of this week, Falkland islanders took matters into their own hands, and sent a message to the world that they have no interest in becoming Argentinian. Of the 1,672 eligible voters on the British Island, 99.8% voted to stay a British territory.

Predictably, Argentina’s president was dismissive of the wishes of the island’s residents, and personally tweeted that the vote was akin to “squatters voting to continue occupying a building.”

It remains to be seen if other nations will take notice of wishes of the residents. Notably, the United States, erstwhile ally of the United Kingdom, has remained neutral on the issue.

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