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Montevideo, September 20th 2018 - 09:14 UTC

Tierra del Fuego infighting over the Malvinas Question Observatory

Tuesday, July 17th 2018 - 11:26 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Rosana Bertone, governor of Tierra del Fuego Rosana Bertone, governor of Tierra del Fuego
Ex ambassador Jorge Argüello and head of the provincial Malvinas affairs secretariat Ex ambassador Jorge Argüello and head of the provincial Malvinas affairs secretariat
Argentine foreign minister Jorge Faurie      Argentine foreign minister Jorge Faurie

Last week's meeting in Buenos Aires of the Malvinas Question Observatory from the province of Tierra del Fuego with the Malvinas Department at the Argentine foreign ministry has not been without consequences.

 In effect according to reports in the Buenos Aires media, Tierra del Fuego province governor Rosana Bertone has been questioned and pointed out for having repeatedly stated that the ministry has not informed her about ongoing discussions with London referred to the South Atlantic and the Falkland Islands. Likewise for creating a special State Secretariat at provincial level to address Malvinas issues, under ex ambassador Jorge Argüello, which is considered unconstitutional since Argentine foreign affairs are the responsibility of the federal government.

Members of the Malvinas question observatory, made up of different organizations, met with the foreign ministry team headed by Teresa Kralikas, who is Under Secretary for Malvinas, and according to the observatory report, “although without coincidences, a significant and mature agenda of dialogue and work” was established.

This undoubtedly left governor Bertone with no support for her exclusion claims and criticisms of foreign minister Jorge Faurie regarding dialogue with the UK. In the meantime the governor had gone ahead and created the special Malvinas Secretariat arguing that a ratified constitutional amendment gave Tierra del Fuego province jurisdiction over the South Atlantic islands, Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich. And last but not least named to head it, an ex Kirchnerite ambassador in the US and Portugal, purposely ignorant of Falklands affairs, Jorge Argüello.

And even when governor Bertyone's moves could be seen as successful since Tierra del Fuego has been informed, but not necessarily involved in South Atlantic affairs at ministry level, the Observatory includes representatives of political leaders such as the mayor of Rio Grande, Gustavo Melella, an opponent of the governor, and Congress member Hector Stefani, from President Mauricio Macri's ruling coalition that is considered a good candidate to dispute Bertone's chair in Ushuaia.

Furthermore at the meeting in Buenos Aires Ms Kralikas pointed out that the provincial bill creating the Malvinas affairs secretariat is “unconstitutional”, plus rejecting point blank Bertone's claims that diplomacy on the question had not been shared with the governor, as she publicly stated.

According to the Observatory's report the foreign ministry also questioned the “aggressive and confrontational” attitude of Kirchnerism underlining the significance of dialogue with the UK, and the fact they are participating in the fisheries talks and in exchange of information.

Likewise the foreign ministry downplayed the Falklands' oil industry advances pointing out to the high costs of extraction offshore the Islands and the still low price of international crude, are not encouraging.

Top Comments

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  • falklandlad

    Isn't it great that they squabble so visibly! And who does Bertone represent? She hasn't even bothered to respond to former MLA Short's question about fixing the street lights outside his home in Port Stanley. Jurisdictional control whether contemplated from TdelFuego or Buenos Aires - they've actually got nowt!

    Jul 17th, 2018 - 04:33 pm +2
  • Brit Bob

    ''In the meantime the governor had gone ahead and created the special Malvinas Secretariat arguing that a ratified constitutional amendment gave Tierra del Fuego province jurisdiction over the South Atlantic islands, Falklands, South Georgia and South Sandwich.''

    All based on the belief that Argentina inherited the Falklands from Spain...

    Falklands – Argentina's Inheritance Problem (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/35194694/Falklands_Argentinas_Inheritance_Problem

    Jul 17th, 2018 - 01:39 pm +1
  • Pete Bog

    The new foreign secretary Mr Hunt could make himself useful and support former MLA Short's enquiry as to why his street light has not been fixed. Ms Bertone seems to want engagement with a territory she claims to govern, yet rejects it. It was very rude of Ms Bertone (as so called Governor) not to attend Battle Day and Liberation Day to commemorate the freedom of the Islands from a fascist dictatorship. Tut tut.

    Jul 18th, 2018 - 10:06 am +1
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