Argentina to see biggest anti-British protests for years
Britons have been warned to stay away from marches in Buenos Aires on Friday as thousands are expected to mass for Argentina's biggest anti-British protests in years.
The controversy surrounding plans to drill for oil in the waters surrounding the islands has stoked hostility in recent weeks.
Demonstrators will march on the British Embassy in the capital to mark the April 2 anniversary of the Argentina's brief occupation of the Falkland Islands during the 1982.
This year's memorial has been given extra impetus due to recent oil exploration off the islands' coastline undertaken by British companies, reigniting Argentina's historic claim to the 'Malvinas'.
The march has been organised by the Asociación Civil Combatientes en Malvinas and has the backing of several trade unions.
Marches in previous years have rallied only a few hundred people but organisers are predicting many thousands will take to the streets today to show their anger over the British exploration.
Organisers are demanding the complete block of the pirate oil platform Ocean Guardian, operated by the UK's Desire Petroleum and calling for a boycott of British companies within Argentina.
Two separate demonstrations will set off from different areas of Buenos Aires at 2pm today before marching towards the British Embassy in the city centre.
A British Embassy spokesperson wouldn't comment on the specific events organised for Friday but warned British nationals to stay away from all marches.
Javier Baliana, 48, an ex-infantry soldier, called Britain an historic enemy of Argentina. Sitting next to a flag proclaiming 'The Malvinas are Argentine', he said: Recent events don't surprise me. I wouldn't expect anything less from the British who continue to exploit everything. They do what they want.
Earlier this week, Argentine President Cristina Kirchner talked of an endless fight to win back sovereignty of the sparsely populated archipelago.
The president, who will attending a memorial service in Ushuaia, southern Argentina, today, said: The battle is going to be eternal but it is not going to be like in the past, with force.
We're going to put up a cultural, political and diplomatic fight on all fronts and in all forums in defence of our heritage which is not just heritage but also the management of our resources.”
Friday's protests are scheduled despite Desire Petroleum's announcement earlier this week that its initial explorations had revealed poor quality petroleum.
Desire is one of four British companies granted a license to drill for oil. The company is expected to give more detailed information on its finding by the end of the week.
Tensions between Argentina and Britain have reached new heights in recent months due to the exploration.
Argentina secured the backing of other South American countries recently over their Falklands claim and has also asked the UN to call the UK to talks.
Britain has insisted it will never discuss the sovereignty of the Falklands but is prepared to hold talks on oil exploration.
By Ed Stocker - Buenos Aires - Telegraph