Two Uruguayan politicians, one from the ruling coalition and the other from the main opposition National party will be honoured with a medal by Argentina for their unlimited support to the Malvinas cause, announced the Argentine ambassador in Montevideo, Dante Dovena.
“Senator and former Defence minister Luis Rosadilla and Colonia county mayor Walter Zimmer are examples of the Uruguayan people’s support for the Malvinas cause, which was clearly expressed when back in 1982 and as young men they volunteered to support Argentina in the conflict with Great Britain”, said Ambassador Dovena.
Rosadilla, originally a baker but at the time in jail because he belonged to the urban guerrilla Tupamaros movement, nevertheless said he was prepared to go to the South Atlantic to fight next to the Argentine troops.
Zimmer is a surgeon of Swiss German descent from the county of Colonia across from Buenos Aires and with a local economy highly dependent on Argentina. At the time of the Falklands conflict he volunteered as a doctor.
Ambassador Dovena said he had already received the green light from the Argentine and Uruguayan governments for the honours ceremony given “their support and commitment” to Argentina’s Malvinas cause.
“Not every man walks up to offer his life for a cause of another country, but that is what these brave men did for a cause supported by all Latinamerica”, said Dovena praising the two volunteers during an event of the Forum Malvinas, Uruguay, in Minas, 120 kilometres from Montevideo.
The Malvinas Forum is an organization sponsored by the Argentine embassy which promotes support for Argentina’s sovereignty claims over the Falkland Islands and brings together politicians from all parties, academics and citizens interested in the issue.
The event in Minas was also attended by Alberto Volonté a former Uruguayan ambassador in Buenos Aires who made the presentation of a book titled “Uruguayan insights on Malvinas” which was complied by Ramiro Podetti who for decades was the press officer at the Argentine embassy in Montevideo.
“This is the big motherland, to which we are all committed, a Latinamerican cause and a shared example of demanding the end of all forms of colonialism in the world”, said Volonté.
The book was first launched last 9 July, Argentine Independence Day, at the Uruguayan parliament palace which not only congregated the above mentioned and lawmakers from all political parties, but also Defence minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro and one of the closest advisors of President Jose Mujica.
Minister Fernandez Huidobro not only made the presentation of the Podetti book but also was responsible for writing a brief introduction to “Uruguayan insights to Malvinas”.
The book is a recollection of documents from the last fifty years involving Uruguayan diplomats, historians, politicians, academics who support Argentina’s Falklands’ sovereignty claim.
The first article is a speech by former Uruguayan ambassador before United Nations Carlos Maria Velazquez (*) from 1964, which is considered a milestone by the international diplomatic community for his knowledge of the matter, his solid defence of Argentine rights over the Malvinas and deep criticism of colonialism, according to Ambassador Dovena.
“The Malvinas cause has motivated many times Uruguayan historians, diplomats and international figures particularly since 1965 when the UN called on UK and Argentina to resume negotiations on the Falklands/Malvinas colonial situation” said Podetti.
He added that the material in the book is most interesting because the Malvinas cause is seen with the perspective of a third country, not directly involved in the controversy but to which the Malvinas Islands are not unknown, on the contrary closely linked to its history.
Finally Podetti said that Uruguay together with Brazil and Argentina “as coastal states of the southwest Atlantic share the interest of these waters and can’t be absent to the international responsibility of its security”.
(*) Ambassador Velazquez became famous for coning the term “Johnson doctrine” in direct reference to the invasion and occupation with political and military support from Argentina and Brazil of the Dominican Republic which in 1965 was feared it could fall into the Soviet-Cuban sphere of influence.
Uruguay obviously did not participate of the invasion or occupation, very much on the contrary strongly condemned the concerted mission of its powerful neighbours under the leadership of the Lyndon Johnson administration at the time very much involved in the Vietnam War.