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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 18:39 UTC



Argentine lawmakers criticize Lady Thatcher over the ‘Belgrano’ and for promoting economic ‘neo-liberalism’

Wednesday, April 10th 2013 - 07:50 UTC
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“She was associated to an economic model that caused great harm and pain” said former Foreign minister Caputo  “She was associated to an economic model that caused great harm and pain” said former Foreign minister Caputo

The Argentine government remains silent on the death last Monday of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but several lawmakers, former officials and Malvinas veterans organizations did have something say and not only linked to the Falklands war and the sinking of the Argentine cruiser ‘Belgrano’ in May 1982.

Ernesto Alonso, president of the National Commission of Argentine former Malvinas Combatants said that contrary to many statements praising her, ‘Thatcher did not contribute at all to peace in the world’.

“M. Thatcher died. The Argentine people have already judged her. The young dead from the ‘Belgrano’ and in Malvinas are enough testimony of her passage by this life”, was twittered by Hermes Binner, leader of the Progressive Broad Front, FAP, the main opposition group in the Argentine congress.

The only member of the ruling coalition of President Cristina Fernandez who did refer to the Iron Lady was Senator Daniel Filmus, president of the Foreign Affairs committee.

“She was a political leader that always favoured the strongest decisions, in favour of military interventions and against the peaceful resolution of conflicts as when she ordered the sinking of the ‘Belgrano’”, said Senator Filmus.

Through the declassified documents “we know she applied the formula of the Conservatives which is using foreign policy to solve domestic problems. When she was acting in Malvinas, she was checking on the public opinion of her country” added Filmus who pointed out that at international level Thatcher was together with the former US president Ronald Reagan the poll bearer of ‘neo-liberal economic policies’.

Former Foreign minister Dante Caputo from the government of Raul Alfonsin said that “for the Argentines Thatcher is associated with the Malvinas. It is obvious, but it can’t be forgotten. I have no positive recall to that person”.

Likewise “at international level she was associated to a moment of history where an economic model was predominant that caused great harm and pain to society”.

“Thatcher is the symbol of aggression, destruction and death” said lawmaker Alfredo Atanasof, from a dissident sector of the ruling Peronist party. “But beyond the differences with Argentina, her death was a great loss for the UK”.

Juan Carlos Zabala head of the Socialist block in the Lower House of Congress was even more caustic. “Before death, respect. But the political ideas she defended, neo-liberalism, we never shared them and as a model have failed dismally in the search for a society with more equality and solidarity. With the (Argentine) genocide dictatorship it shares the responsibility of the defence of colonial interests and the dead in Malvinas”.

César González Trejo, another leader of a Malvinas Veterans organization regretted Thatcher’s death before Argentina could file a lawsuit against the former Conservative Party leader before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Trejo says his organization is pressing Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman to file charges over war crimes against Argentina during the 1982 Malvinas War.

“Unfortunately the impunity she enjoyed in the 31 post-war years is due to the fact that our leaders did not have the courage to make her pay for her criminal actions, when in the United Kingdom itself there was a citizens’ inquiry accusing her of being a war criminal, as demonstrated in the ‘Sink the Belgrano’ documentary directed by Federico Urioste for Channel 4 (London.)”

The controversy over the sinking by HMS Conqueror of the cruiser ‘Belgrano’ in May 1982, the greatest single loss of lives in the Falklands war, 323 young sailors, mostly conscripts, continues. The order undoubtedly was given by Margaret Thatcher but declassified documents and testimonies from Argentine naval officers are clear evidence that the ‘Belgrano’ was clearly in an offensive distraction operation.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Who sent the Belgrano to war again?

    Apr 10th, 2013 - 07:55 am 0
  • Viva Las Falklands

    In the words of Basil Fawlty “ You started it first”

    Apr 10th, 2013 - 07:57 am 0
  • Anglotino

    Sorry Argentina there is no silver lining to starting an unprovoked war and then having your arse kicked all the way home.

    None whatsoever.

    Apr 10th, 2013 - 08:05 am 0
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