A group of Argentine intellectuals, academics and free-thinkers have criticized President Cristina Fernandez government strategy of confronting the UK on the Malvinas Islands sovereignty dispute and called for dialogue that guarantees the self determination of the Falkland Islanders.
“It is necessary to put an end to the contradictory demand from the Argentine government to open bilateral negotiations that include the sovereignty issue and at the same time it announces that the Argentine sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands is non negotiable”, said the paper “Malvinas: an alternative view” elaborated by the group.
“It is essential to offer real dialogue instances with the British and very especially with the Islanders” emphasized the paper.
“The (Argentine soldiers) fallen in Malvinas demand above all that we don’t again fall to the temptation of ‘cheap patriotism’ which took away their lives, nor use them as an element to sacralise positions that in any democratic system are debatable”.
The group which was scheduled to give a press conference on Wednesday to present the “Malvinas: an alternative view” paper, signed by 18 Argentine personalities, suspended the event following the tragic train accident in Buenos Aires and the two-day mourning decided by the government.
However the report described as an ‘invitation to reflection’ ahead of the 2 April 2012 anniversary commemoration of the South Atlantic conflict was released in the internet.
The initiative was criticized from the Argentine government by historian Mario Pacho O’Donell who argued that self determination for the population of the Malvinas was a “false argument”, and by Senator and former cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez who was far coarser in his criticism and said that the Argentine intellectuals are moved by ‘rancour’.
However the members of the group argued that in honour to the human rights treaties incorporated to the 1994 Argentine constitution, the Falkland Islanders must be recognized as people entitled to rights, which means respecting their way of life, and as expressed in the transitory clauses from the amended constitution means abdicating to all intention of imposing on them a sovereignty, a citizenship and a government they do not wish”.
Furthermore “the obsessive repeated statement of the principle “Las Malvinas son argentines” and ignoring or despising the submission that such a statement implies debilitates a fair and peaceful claim for the UK to leave the Islands, with their military base, and makes it impossible to advance towards a management of natural resources shared between the Argentines and the Islanders”.
The group also exposed the existence, in these days of a climate of “nationalistic agitation, again thrust by both governments (Argentina and UK), which seems to have caught hold of our leaders, both from government and the opposition, who proudly exhibit what they describe as a ‘State policy’”.
Argentina needs to abandon the agitation triggered by the Malvinas cause and elaborate an alternative view that helps to overcome the conflict, underlines the paper.
“Our worst tragedies have not been caused by the loss of territories or the lack of natural resources, but rather the absence of respect for life, for human rights, for institutions and essential values of the Republic such as freedom, equality and self determination”, says the report.
“Let us hope that April 2 and the year 2012 don’t lead to the usual escalation of cheap patriotic declamations, but rather help the Argentines, (elected officials, leaders and simple citizens) to jointly reflect and with no prejudice about the relation between our own errors and the failures of our country”.
Those who wish to adhere and sign the document, “Malvinas: an alternative view” can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.