Falklands’ lawmakers underline significance of the referendum to Latam countries
“Who else but us can decide on our future” said Falkland Islands representatives currently visiting several Latin American countries, who anticipated that next year’s referendum on the Islands political status will send the world a clear forceful message on “our right to self determination”.
“We know what we want and we will show the world in 2013 that we don’t depend politically from Argentina or the United Kingdom. From the British we only depend on foreign affairs and defence”, said Falklands elected lawmakers Dick Sawle and Barry Elsby currently in Bogotá, Colombia where they were interviewed by the leading newspaper El Colombiano.
Sawle added the Falklands government was working following international standards on the preparation of next year’s referendum “to make it clear to the world that we are exercising our self determination and that this is our right”.
Argentina claims sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas, a British Overseas Territory, but London argues that the Islanders, who have been living the in the Islands for almost two centuries have the right to self determination, as enshrined in the UN charter.
Dr. Elsby said that the Falklands are most interested in having the best of relations with all its neighbours, including Argentina, but trying to work and having good relations with “the government of President Cristina Fernandez is complicated because of all the bans and restrictions she has implemented against us”.
The Falklands representative recalled that in the past the Islands enjoyed very good relations with Argentina: “we had a fisheries agreement, more flights between the Islands and the South American continent, but Cristina Fernandez cancelled all that and now we are limited to an only weekly air link with Chile with Lan”.
Further on Mr Sawle said that the greatest difference with Argentina is the fact that the government of President Cristina Fernandez insists in bilateral talks with the UK, ignoring the people of the Falklands
“But who else can decide on our future, but us?”, if “they want to talk about our future then we must be at the table”.
Dr Elsby said that Britain respects and supports the Falklands right to self determination and trust they can keep relying on that support.
“Yes, we have British citizenship but that is all. We receive no funds at all from London and we are more than self sufficient with a strong resilient and well managed economy that ensures the Islanders one of the highest per capita incomes”, said Dr. Elsby.