Chile ratifies its position and denies existence of a Malvinas blockade
Chile ratified this week that vessels flying the Malvinas flag will continue to be barred from Chilean ports and that the country’s position relative to the issue has not changed and denies the existence of a blockade. A brief statement from the Chilean Foreign Affairs ministry indirectly refers to the latest statement by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Following on recent media reports “the Ministry of Foreign Relations must underscore that Chile will continue to apply, in accordance with International Law and Chilean legislation, the measures destined to impede vessels flying the flag of the Malvinas Islands from entering Chilean ports in abidance of commitments adopted in declarations released in the framework of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur, meeting on 26 November 2010 and the recent Mercosur Summit of heads of State and heads of Government, and associate states, last 20 December 2011”.
The release refers to the statement by Foreign Secretary William Hague to Parliament when he mentions that “we have had productive and honest discussions with Uruguay, Chile and Brazil. All three countries have said that they have no intention of participating in an economic blockade of the Falkland Islands and that all Falklands-related commercial shipping will continue to enjoy access to their ports, in accordance with domestic and international law, if they are flying the Red Ensign or another national flag when docked”.
This paragraph triggered an immediate reaction from Argentina which contacted the three countries mentioned in the statement.
Chilean diplomatic sources insisted that the measure to which Chile adhered is not a blockade in “technical terms” since if the vessels fly any other flag which is not that of the Malvinas Islands, which Chile does not recognize, they can call and dock in the country’s ports.
Chile is an associate member of Mercosur, belongs to Unasur and will organize and host the next summit of the recently created Celac, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.