Falklands plot: Argentina’s memorial event shows determination to grab islands says expert

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President Alberto Fernandez ordered the event, which marked in a move widely interpreted to be part of a coordinated strategy in respect of the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic, which Argentina refers to as the Malvinas. Friday marked marked the anniversary of the day on which David Jewett, the sailor whom Argentina describes as the commander of its navy at the time, first raised the country’s flag on the islands.

However, one insider with a broad understanding of the issues involved told Express.co.uk Argentina’s version of events was a vast oversimplification of history.

They explained: “He wasn’t ordered to do this. Jewett want there in the first place to rest his crew who were in desperate straits, all dying of scurvy.

“They had been at sea for about seven months and there is a suggestion that he might have chosen the Falklands because there was a valuable wreck there which he wanted to get salvage from.

“The point is he was not ordered there – if he was ordered, he would have put it in his report.

“There is no answer to that point.”

Consequently, Mr Fernandez was opportunistically attempting to portray the event as a grand patriotic occasion for narrow political purposes, the source said.

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The Jewett claim, as sanitised, or distorted, by them, is important to their sovereignty claim

Express.co.uk source

They added: “This is a valuable anniversary date for them.

“The Jewett claim, as sanitised, or distorted, by them, is important to their sovereignty claim.

“They clearly hope to use it to increase the pressure on Britain, attract support from other countries – and to divert attention from the desperate domestic situation in Argentina.”

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Referring to Peronist Mr Fernandez’s Vice-President, who was herself the country’s President from 2007 to 20015, he said: “Cristina de Kirchner is based at Rio Gallegos in the south, and feeling about the Falklands dispute, and war, is stronger down there than further north.

“In 1982, in the south, they experienced planes going out and not coming back, and wounded and defeated troops coming back, etc, which people further north did not.

The ceremony and associated publicity would undoubtedly make the Falklands’ roughly 3,200 residents feel deeply uncomfortable, especially given the Falklands War 38 years ago.

They said: “Islanders put on a brave face about it. But the bombardment of hatred from Argentina does worry them.

“And yes, it does bring back very unpleasant memories for those that experienced the invasion and occupation in 1982.”

Addressing Argentina’s sovereignty push, they added: “There is an Argentine historical claim to the Islands going back to the 18th and early 19th centuries. The Falklands were always disputed.

“But I think the British historical claim is superior.

“Much of what the Argentines say at the UN and elsewhere is untrue. Also, I think the self-determination argument for the Islanders is paramount now.”

Nevertheless, despite the aggressive rhetoric and posturing, there was no prospect of the Fernandez/Kirchner regime backing up their words with action, the source said.

They explained: “Answer: I would expect continuing harassment, diplomatic action, and action at the UN (which is biased against Britain).

“Also I would expect continuing internal propaganda and posturing.

“But I would not expect any military action. That’s out of the question.”

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