Falkland Islands lawmaker Dick Sawle is expected on Tuesday in Brasília, capital of Brazil where he will explain the Islanders’ decision to remain a British Overseas Territory and give an idea of life in the South Atlantic archipelago, its economy and social achievements as a prosperous, democratic community.
According to Agencia Brasil, the Brazilian government’s news agency, Brazil supports Argentina’s position in the dispute over the Falklands’ sovereignty as do most other Latinamerican countries.
“The mission of MLA Sawle in Brazil is to promote contacts and give a clear picture of the Falklands to Brazilians, to the people of Brazil, not to the politicians or the government”, said UK ambassador Alex Ellis who added that the visitor, besides Brasília, has meetings scheduled in São Paulo, Porto Alegre and Pelotas in Brazil’s southern most state.
Last March, the Falklands held a referendum on their status and future and with a record turnout of 92%, an overwhelming majority of 98% voted to remain as a BOT. The Falklands also enjoy possibly the highest per capita income in the Americas together with the US and Canada, as well as an enviable quality of life.
“People are not aware of the reality of the Falklands and all the activity that is going on in the Islands. The idea is to explain every day life of the 3.000 inhabitants of the Falklands. There are people from at least twenty different countries living in the Islands and there are huge possibilities to develop business in fisheries and the oil industry”, pointed out Ambassador Ellis.
In Brazil the visit of MLA Sawle is geared to increase trade relations between Brazil and the Islands. “The delegation will be holding meetings with business people from São Paulo and in Rio Grande do Sul, which is considered the state with better opportunities for economic and political relations with the Falklands”.
In Brasília MLA Sawle’s agenda includes informal meetings with members of the Brazilian congress, besides with representatives from civil organizations, academia and intellectuals.
The visit in Brazil will extend until next 31 August when MLA Sawle will be travelling to neighbouring Uruguay.