Falkland Islands elected lawmaker Dr. Barry Elsby, concluded a two day visit to Guatemala, aimed at defending the Islanders right of self-determination, and highlighting the economic opportunities in the Islands. Member of the Legislative Assembly Dr. Elsby is in the penultimate destination of his tour, a week ago and which also included Chile, Colombia, Panama and the last stop El Salvador.
MLA Elsby made a courtesy visit to the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also spoke with members of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), plus meeting with academics and opinion makers.
In another meeting MLA Elsby discussed a study by academics from the University Francisco Marroquin, who visited the Falklands and analyzed the economics, politics and the rule of law in the Islands. The report highlights the economic potential of the Islands from hydrocarbons, fisheries, and tourism as well as praising its political and social stability.
MLA Elsby explained that under the UN Charter the people of the Falkland Islands have the right of self determination and they had exercised this right in their referendum last year when 99.8% out of a 92% turnout had voted in favor of remaining a UK Overseas Territory.
The lawmaker also denounced and condemned the bullying actions of the Argentine government which was trying to damage the Islands’ economy by threatening companies which participate in the Falklands fisheries and oil and gas industries with legal action, by harassing cruise ships which visit the Falklands and persuading Mercosur countries to deny port access to Falklands flagged vessels.
In spite of these ongoing actions the Falklands economy was flourishing.
To mark the visit of MLA Elsby, the British Ambassador in Guatemala, Sarah Dickson, said the UK Government reiterates its absolute commitment to preserve and protect the Islanders right of self-determination.
”Britain will not negotiate the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until the people who inhabit them so desire. However, there are many areas of opportunity to enhance the relations between the Islands and Latin America, including Guatemala. I invite you to take advantage of them”, underlined Ambassador Dickson.