Defense minister Jorge Burgos said that most Chileans are not proud of the attitude of the Pinochet dictatorship when the Falklands/Malvinas war, but also admitted it happened at a very different and difficult moment in the relations between Chile and Argentina.
It was a different world, a different reality, and thus it does not complicate our current links said Burgos in a Sunday interview on Chilean defense affairs, but also pointed out to a milestone in the neighboring countries relations.
Next 29 November we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Peace and Friendship Treaty signed by the Argentina and Chile at the Vatican, which put an end to the Beagle strait and islands conflict, underlined Burgos.
It is a most relevant milestone of our bilateral relation which until during this time has only had very positive consequences. And it must be remembered with all that significance. We have been working since the beginning of the year with our colleagues at the Argentine ministry of defense, and at all government levels. We have a very good relation at ministries level and also with the Armed Forces•, pointed out the Chilean official.
To that respect Burgos recalled that for example this week at deputy foreign ministry level there will be a meeting and at the end of the year the celebration will coincide with the Southern Cross joint military exercises.
Insisting on the time of the Falklands war in 1982, Burgos said that I believe that as happened in Chile, a good percentage of the Argentine people are not proud, regarding the attitude of the Argentine dictatorship, but it was a different world, different circumstances.
However Burgos statements did not go unanswered in the social networks and a former foreign minister from Pinochet's time, Hernan Felipe Errazuriz wrote: no apologies with Argentina on the Malvinas War. They started the war, with the invasion. Chile did not make use of force and supported Argentina in all the international organizations.
Another former supporter of Pinochet and currently senator for one of the conservative parties, UDI, Victor Perez, said that we are proud of what we did at the time, which was to uphold peace.
The questions on the Falklands war relate to a book from a former RAF officer, Sydney Edwards who admitted that without the help from the Chilean dictatorship, we could have not won the war, who added that collaboration was based on 'pragmatism'.
In other words, Air General Matthei, Pinochet and other members of the military dictatorship cabinet realized that is Argentina could keep the Falklands, and won the war, the following step would be for them to take over the Beagle channel islands, according to Edwards.
Thus they believed that if we (UK) were not able to expel the invading Argentines from the Falklands, Galtieri and his generals would have a good motive to move into Chile. The other reason is that by collaborating with the UK they had a good chance to improve the quality and equipment of their own armed forces, because we were prepared to give them that equipment and necessary training”, argued Edwards.