Liberation Day for the Falklands - but how can we help liberate Argentina?

Argentina is being held hostage by a swivel-eyed, megalomaniacal leader. To help the country, we must hold her to account

The Falklands flag flies proudly over the FCO in Whitehall today
The Commentator
On 14 June 2012 14:03

Falkland Islanders have today been celebrating their Liberation Day, when 30 years ago the invading Argentinian forces surrendered to British troops at Port Stanley on the famous islands.

While the dispute, from Argentina’s perspective, continues – the rest of the world is far more concerned as to why President Cristina Kirchner is attempting to use the Falkland Islands, as her predecessor General Galtieri did, as a smokescreen for disastrous domestic deficiencies.

Today, Cristina Kirchner travels to the United Nations to argue that the Falkland Islanders do not qualify for human rights in the same way the rest of the world does. Her Ambassador to the United Kingdom argued recently at the London School of Economics that self-determination does not apply to the Falklands.

In spite of this bizarre misdirection attempt, the Falklands Islanders will snub their noses at Argentina next year in a planned referendum to show anyone in the international community who has their doubts, that the inhabitants of the islands want the Falklands to remain British.

Sadly, Cristina Kirchner and her lapdog Alicia Castro, the Ambassador to the UK, are not so hot at covering their tracks when it comes to the rationale behind their belligerence. As Galtieri did three decades ago, the current Argentine administration is suffering from a new economic crisis in the country.

Argentina’s debts and its irrational behaviour leading to nationalisations of industries and media outlets are issues that have turned heads in the international community. With scrutiny now increasing on a regime that is finding itself ever more in bed with the likes of Hugo Chavez, some smart cookie in the Kirchner PR team clearly decided to play the colonialism card. But fewer and fewer people are buying it.

The last time such a thing happened, many people sadly lost their lives. History cannot be allowed to repeat itself. The creditors to Argentina and those responsible at the Bretton Woods institutions and the United Nations have a duty to rebuff Cristina Kirchner’s claims to the Falkland Islands and start demanding answers about Argentina’s huge outstanding debt circa 2001 when they presided over the largest default in history.

With the G20 meeting in just a few days, pressure must be ramped up on Argentina to either stand aside as a member of the group of influential economies, or up its game with regard to debt repayment and the country’s dedication to free enterprise in the face of capital flight and almost no confidence in the government’s handling of the economy.

Thirty years ago Argentina suffered immensely. Its role on the international stage diminished, economically and in terms of the freedoms its citizens enjoyed, the country was still decades behind the West. But despite much progress, today the country’s progress is threatened by a swivel-eyed, megalomaniacal leader determined to distract attention away from her plethora of failings.

Holding Cristina Kirchner’s administration to account for the dire straits Argentina is in is potentially the best thing Western countries can do for the Argentinian people. If not, our fear is that this whole history repeating itself thing will become a vicious cycle for Argentina – and drag us down with them.

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