Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman in a piece published in the pro-government Pagina 12 accused Buenos Aires daily Clarin of silencing, distorting, hiding and even lying about events in Argentina and particularly regarding the Malvinas colonial issue and in the March referendum ‘of playing to the Foreign Office strategy’.
The controversy was triggered because in a previous edition Clarin asked its readers if they were aware that in June the UN Decolonization Committee met in New York to deal with the Falklands/Malvinas issue, and the same Clarin concludes that ‘most probably not’.
A furious Timerman writes that Clarin readers don’t have to know since that newspaper deliberately hid the fact that the Foreign Office strategy of promoting a referendum in the Islands failed before the UN ‘nor did it publish other important events in which the Argentine position came out strengthened’, even when all this was underlined by the British media.
In effect it is some time now that Clarin editors are more concerned on how to free their boss Hector Magnetto from going to court to respond about human rights violations in which he is involved, than in reporting the current Argentine situation, writes Timerman.
He adds that in the Clarin article some cheap opinion-writer describes the Argentine position before the UN C24 as a ‘word salad’, while at the same time supporting the British position.
When the world and multilateral organizations decided not to legitimize the Falklands referendum, they did so because the Argentine ‘word salad’ was more forceful than London’s arguments, now sponsored by Clarin claims Timerman.
Today we can say that the English strategy failed because in nothing it altered the essence of the question and did not end the sovereignty dispute or the unquestionable rights of Argentina over the Malvinas, points out Timerman and then enumerates some extracts where he argues “Clarin shamelessly is not saying the truth”.
Clarin says that the UK is abandoning the C24, ‘false’ London can’t abandon C24 because it never belonged to it and at the same time recalls that 65% of all remnant colonial cases in the world belong to UK.
Clarin also missed the point because it published that there were no resident Islanders at the C24 debate, and Timerman provides the names of Sharon Halford and Mike Summers.
As to the fact that the UK strategic moves have exposed the weakness of the Malvinas policy, “what really has been exposed is the UK strategy”.
“No country in the world has accepted the results of the referendum. Why?
Maybe because the Argentine arguments, with little coverage from Clarin are far more forceful: the residents implanted by the metropolis in the Islands are not a people and thus the principle of self determination does not apply’, writes the minister.
Timerman adds it is worth taking notice that more and more countries are in the list of nations calling on London to dialogue since they consider the Malvinas are Argentine.
Finally Timerman makes a list of all the organizations that support Argentina in the dispute from the UN and OAS to G-77 and China; the South America Arab countries summit; South Atlantic zone of Peace and Cooperation; Mercosur; Unasur, ALBA.
More specifically on the natural resources of the Falklands and responding to Clarin statements that “since international oil prices will be going down, we should then have a nationalistic headache less”, Timerman says that the paragraph calls to concern since Argentine natural resources are not ‘a nationalist headache’, and if that were the case prepare for ‘more headaches’ since this government will not yield in its rights, domestic and international in defence of its hydrocarbon resources in the South Atlantic”.