MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, March 27th 2023 - 16:43 UTC



Falkland Islands’ delegation received in Latam with open doors and genuine interest

Saturday, April 13th 2013 - 01:32 UTC
Full article 36 comments
UK ambassador in Ecuador Patrick Mullee, MLA Short and journalist Stacy Bragger in Quito UK ambassador in Ecuador Patrick Mullee, MLA Short and journalist Stacy Bragger in Quito
MLA Short and Stacey displaying the colours of the Falklands MLA Short and Stacey displaying the colours of the Falklands

Latinamerican members of government, opinion formers and academics have been genuinely interested in hearing the Falkland Islanders’ point of view and the recent referendum results, revealed Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Gavin Short.

Together with radio journalist Stacy Bragger they are currently touring the region, and so far have visited Bolivia, Peru, Costa Rica, Ecuador and El Salvador.

“I was fully expecting some very pro-Argentine arguments to be put to us in one or two of the countries and perhaps doors to be closed. In fact the very opposite happened” said MLA Short who described the trip “very much worth it”.

“We have met very many people on this trip, including members of governments, opposition figures, opinion formers, academics, the press (both print and TV), not to mention a plethora of ambassadors from many countries through to university students and an online Q&A session…”

MLA Short said audiences seemed to be “paying much attention to our descriptions of how our Islands function, our referendum and our demolition of Argentine myths and downright untruths,” especially when backed by historic documentation.

The trip was not crafted to be a deep relationship building exercise and rather the initial foray was designed to be high speed, high impact incursion.

However “it succeeded way beyond my wildest expectations and we have actually already started building initial contacts and relationships. The groundwork has now been done that will make any further, more sedately paced visits easier to do, and fruitful.”

But MLA Short feels it will not be an overnight process, but, “since our referendum some peoples’ views are changing and if not questioning the long established Argentine version of events”. Likewise will take time – but time and the truth is something that we have on our side.

He underlined that taking a young Islander was a real bonus “and Stacy Bragger, because of his media background was a God-send and he certainly did his country proud. There were occasions when the voice of an ordinary citizen was far more powerful than that of a wrinkly old politician as people expect us to say certain things. When an ordinary person freely expresses the same opinions most eloquently then real attention is paid.”

At the beginning of the tour they encountered an Argentine ambassador: “He walked past us as he came off the set and never even acknowledged our presence.

“I have made a point of telling people in all countries that we visited that we would like nothing better than a live debate with an Argentine Ambassador on national TV or radio” said MLA Short.

“All in all I believe this trip was worth it, and we must keep returning. It may not work in all cases but as proved by other MLAs who were operating further North in already prepared ground, there are countries in which you can make a real difference”.

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • redpoll

    Well done. An example for democracy Keep it up

    Apr 13th, 2013 - 01:49 am 0
  • Marcos Alejandro

    Yes, Governor Haywood is an example for democracy. Keep it up.

    Apr 13th, 2013 - 06:41 am 0
  • Diddles

    Dear Marcos, and more particularly any open minded Argentine or other Latin American who may be reading this site, the Falklands is no different to many other Commonwealth countries, yes countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and so forth. All these countries operate as constitutional monarchies with an elected national government, with a prime minister on top, with a governor or governor-general operating above them in a mostly symbolic way , as they act as representatives of the Queen in each country performing mainly ceremeonial duties, as well as signing off any legislation passed through parliament and in a political crisis, acting like a referee to ensure political stability.

    Governor Haywood is clearly a popular figure in the Falklands who performs these similar functions and he does not run or dictate to the Falklanders. Instead, he works cooperatively with elected Falkland Islands Government.

    If you are seriously concerned about democratic issues, I think you should look at yourown country which has not only been poorly and corruptly governed but has often been led by dictatorial governments. As the saying goes, people who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones!

    Apr 13th, 2013 - 08:32 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!