Visiting Brazilian political advisor and environmentalist Eduardo Viola emphatically expressed support for the Falkland Islands’ right of self-determination during a press conference in Stanley with other visiting Brazilian colleagues, reports this week's edition of Penguin News.
The Falklands enjoy an exceptional level of amenities and prosperity and are on the right road to an even more prosperous future provided it was embraced by Islanders said Viola who nevertheless pointed out ”you are too small” indicating that immigration needed to be opened up.
While meeting with Falklands media last Wednesday, it became apparent that between the group of four Brazilian academics on a familiarization visit to the Falklands, the Islands’ sovereignty dispute had been a strong topic of debate.
The delegation, invited by the Falklands Legislative Assembly has a shared interest in international politics, history and relations and visit in order to better inform themselves on topical issues affecting the region to aid their research as opinion formers and teachers.
Due to the nature of established Mercosur relationships it might not be possible to change official political views of countries in South America they indicated, but agreed in order to progress the issue the answer was in education, in particular via the media.
“There is a profound economic change happening (in the Falklands) and that is bringing unprecedented attention. But you are doing the right thing,” said Oliver Stuenkel, who during the visit had learned of the economic blockade imposed by Argentina on the Islands.
Stuenkel admitted he had not been aware of this but hoped to raise it with his students when he returned.
International Law professor Leila Bijos agreed with the importance of raising a moral consciousness in the population to spark debate, particularly with elections due in Brazil.
“The students are the new leaders,” she said, adding that the Falklands economic ‘boom’ gave her and her students a rare opportunity to study rapid economic growth of a country in their own region.
Visits like this are intended to build up a knowledge base and Carlos Vidigal, who is a political advisor and supporter of the Argentine claim, said he found the trip informative and was, “surprised” by the people and governance.
Brazilian foreign policy which aligns with its neighbor will not change he said but he was keen to see better dialogue between the Falklands and Argentina. (Penguin News).