After three decades there is still tension between the United Kingdom and Argentina.
Wednesday 14th of June was the anniversary of the end of the War of the Falklands, or Malvinas, depending on which point of the trench we speak. I said trench, because even though there are exactly thirty years since the end of the 74-days war, the relationship between the two states, the United Kingdom and Argentina, became tense every time the are “talk” about the islands’ sovereignty.
The thirtieth anniversary has rekindled hostilities between the governments of London and Buenos Aires that have provoked each other with action of propaganda and threats. The visit of some British politicians of the “Commons defence committee” in this area, the Argentina’s Olympic team TV advertisement filmed on the island with a slogan that says “to compete on British soil (for London 2012), we train on Argentine soil” and the six weeks of military training in the Falklands of Prince William, were some of the many events that have made headlines on newspapers in Britain. After three decades of the wound caused by this blitzkrieg continues to be open.
For those who were young in 1982, the direct or indirect experience of the conflict has left memories that has changed the way they see the Argentines. Some of them have put those horrible images behind and continue to live their lives in peace while others still have anti-Argentine feelings. This hate toward them is still visible today when the British are against them in sports, especially football, and when an Argentine player plays in England.
The Falklands War, in just two months and half, changed the future of the two countries. The British victory over Argentine troops ensured the success of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1983 general election and assured a long period in power for the Conservatives party while it was the final blow to for the military dictatorship of the Latin American country that continued to collapse until the return of democracy.
Even today, the Falkland issue has a strong political importance. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Argentina’s president, use her country’s claims to the islands as a weapon of nationalist propaganda and the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is using the Falkland issue to show his political skills and leadership to the Conservative MPs and to the British people.
As mentioned before, the events related to the Falkland’s sovereignty have produced new row between the two governments in recent months and while the British were gathered in a heartfelt remembrance of the victims of that war, another shocking surprise crated a new row. The island inhabitants will decide their future with a referendum in 2013.
The final act of the drama “Falklands-Malvinas”? Maybe yes. Certainly the last act will be full of tension and surprises. Or maybe it is just the beginning of a new chapter in the saga of the island and the fight between London and Buenos Aires.
Published on the website of the Italian newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano” on Sunday the 17th of June 2012 under the title “Falkland o Malvinas? Trent’anni dopo a colpi di spot.“