Argentine President Cristina Fernández had strong words for the UK government, as she headed on Tuesday the inauguration of the Malvinas Museum at the ex-ESMA detention centre, where thousands were illegally held prisoners and tortured during Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship.
Addressing a large crowd of officials and ministers, special guests, Malvinas veterans and militants with flags and banners the Argentine president called to never abandon the Malvinas Islands claim, although admitting that the 'worst colonization is not military or economic; these can take place only if previously we have been colonized culturally.
The inauguration of the museum was done on 10 June, which according to the Argentine calendar is Affirmation Day of Argentine rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich islands and their surrounding maritime areas. On this day in 1829 Argentine history claims the national flag was first flown in the Malvinas.
Further on she accused Great Britain of obsolete military colonialism, while alleging that colonialism was still alive and well in different forms. “Colonization is not forced territorially or through military means any more, but financially and culturally,” the President underlined.
Cristina Fernandez was also critical of Argentine politics arguing that the main hurdles in the construction of a great country have not come from outside. The main problems we have had to build a great nation have emerged here from inside.
She then went on to praise the attitude of 106 British MPs who supported Argentina's stand against the hedge funds or 'vulture funds'. The English are well aware that their country will suffer considerably if the restructuring of the Argentine debt collapses. It is obvious that it is 'game over' for any future restructuring of debts. And I feel great envy of those countries who have such degree of cultural understanding, that they act according to their interests, above political colors said the Argentine leader.
The president supported her argument saying that 33% of UK's GDP are financial services, such as debt restructuring; London and Wall Street are the world's leading financial centers, how can they let restructuring debts fall through?
The darts were directed to the congressional opposition some of which turned down the idea of travelling to Washington to lobby before Congress and the White House, the Fed in support of Argentina in its ongoing litigation with hedge funds that has reached the US Supreme Court and next Thursday the magistrates will decide if they take the case or not.
Returning to the Malvinas claim, Cristina Fernandez said that this museum is a living commitment to end with the last vestiges of colonialism, but also underlined that sovereignty is built through peace, diplomacy and culture”.
It's not about war but will take you through the life and history of the Malvinas which we demand UK returns to Argentina; inter-active and in each of its four chapters you will appreciate sensorial experiences, the wind, the sea, the noise of military jets while at the same time honoring our heroes, brave from 1829, 1982 to our days
And this commitment to eradicate colonialism from our Malvinas makes us call on Argentina not to ever abandon this historic battle because we have reason and truth on our side, memory and the willingness to continue moving onwards.
Accompanied by members of the national cabinet, Cristina Fernández walked through the museum building, which included various memorial spaces like “the room of the fallen”, commemorating the Argentine soldiers who died during the Malvinas War in 1982 with Britain.
During the inaugural tour, Fernández de Kirchner unveiled the Argentine flag used during 'Operation Condor', a civilian operative carried out by Peronist militants who hijacked a commercial Aerolineas Argentinas airplane and landed it on the Malvinas in 1966.
Finally the president thanked the support for the Malvinas claim by “most of the international forums,” and all regional organizations from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego.
A video gives an idea of the size and display of the Malvinas museum with an opening 360 degrees chamber, which recalls the Islands history since 1520 when the first sightings by Magellan's expedition to the current sovereignty claims. A huge window frame, half the building's size which represents the ARA Belgrano battleship in the South Atlantic, torpedoed and sunk by a UK submarine.
A special coordinated room for children with a Zamba special 'guide' that leads them with games on tablets through the Islands flora and fauna. A media archive where with dactyl screens that provides music and videos allegoric to the Malvinas and other South Atlantic islands as well as their geopolitical significance.
Old television sets with news reels of the time which give an idea how the Argentine military during the 1982 war drummed propaganda 'triumphalism'. A place dedicated to the Rattenbach report on the reasons of the military failure and surrender of Argentine forces to the UK Task Force. Letters written by school children to the conscripts during the 1982 conflict.
The front pages of newspapers which state that during 2003 the Argentine state demanded sovereignty exercise over the Malvinas”. Biographies of Luis Vernet considered the first Argentine governor of the Malvinas, his family and of the people living at the time in the settlement. The life of journalist and Peronist militant Dardo Cabo who led the 1966 Condor Operation with the Aerolineas Argentina's commercial plane and the several Argentine flags flown at the time. List of books written on the Malvinas and the 1982 conflict.