Falkland Islands member of the Legislative Assembly Dick Sawle will be in Montevideo 2-6 September, after spending a week in Brazil involved in business, academia and informal political contacts sponsored by the Foreign Office. In Uruguay according to the official release MLA Sawle will inform about business opportunities with the Falklands and to strengthen the historical ties with Uruguay.
“I am very pleased to visit Uruguay and to have the possibility of talking with different sectors of the Uruguayan society about how the oil industry creates a lot of lucrative opportunities for the Islands and neighboring countries” said MLA Sawle.
MLA Sawle is accompanies by Simon Fletcher, Director Central Services, Falkland Islands Government
During his visit to Montevideo MLA Sawle, one of the eight members of the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly will give a conference organized by the British-Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce. He will speak about the main economic activities in the Falkland Islands, their future strategy and opportunities to strengthen trade with Uruguay.
He also has contacts scheduled with the local media and should be meeting two Uruguayan lawmakers, Jaime Trobo and Jose Carlos Cardoso, from the main opposition National party who were present in the Falklands at the March referendum when an overwhelming majority (99.8%) of the Falklands people opted to continue as a British Overseas Territory.
Both spoke in favor of the Falklands at the Uruguayan parliament recalling the close and historical links of the Islands with Uruguay, and although supporting Argentina’s sovereignty claims, strongly condemned the current policy of President Cristina Fernandez government to isolate and harm the Falklands’ economy, plus ignoring the human rights of Islanders submitted to such conditions.
British Ambassador in Montevideo Ben Lyster-Binns, said that, “the government of the Falkland Islands considers the relationship with both countries and with Latin America a priority, and is looking to strengthen it”.
The Uruguayan government supports Argentina’s claims over the Falklands/Malvinas but has repeatedly stated that it will not support any measure that infringes on the human rights of the Falklands’ people.
Interestingly it must be mentioned that among Uruguayan academia and historians there is a considerable current that believe the Malvinas really belong to Uruguay, since the Islands were under the jurisdiction, according to repeated royal decrees, of the Spanish Crown navy outpost in Montevideo, which was responsible for patrolling all the area from Portugal’s Brazil to the Magellan Strait, to ensure it was of “English marauding pirates”.
MLA Sawle arrives from Brazil where he was the first member of the elected Falklands government to visit Latinamerica’s largest economy from 25 to 31 of August.
Brazil is considered a priority country for the diplomatic and economic relations of the Falklands in Latin America. MLA Sawle met with politicians, academics and business people and talked about the diplomatic relations between the Falkland Islands and Brazil and the region’s countries.
His first stop was in Rio de Janeiro, on Monday where he met with a representative of the British Chamber of Commerce (Britcham) and later took part in a round table with international relations students at the Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing (ESPM).
In Brasilia the Falklands lawmaker met British Ambassador Alex Ellis, and also academics and later in the week visited the financial and industrial heart of Brazil, the Sao Paulo megapolis. Among his many activities MLA Sawle attended the Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), for a round table with students and academics.
Finally MLA Sawle flew to Rio Grande do Sul, considered the main State in Brazil for political and economic relations for the Falkland Islands. While in Porto Alegre he visited the main agriculture and livestock fair of Brazil in Esteio grounds.