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Malvinas Museum incorporates San Martin letter referred to links with South Atlantic Islands

Monday, August 18th 2014 - 06:17 UTC
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Minister of Culture Parodi and Daniel Filmus during the ceremony dedicated to the San Martin letter that mentions Patagones and Malvinas prisoners (Pic Telam) Minister of Culture Parodi and Daniel Filmus during the ceremony dedicated to the San Martin letter that mentions Patagones and Malvinas prisoners (Pic Telam)

The Malvinas Islands Museum in Argentina has incorporated a letter allegedly handwritten by Liberator General Jose de San Martin and dated August 1816, a month after Argentina formally declared independence (07/09/1816) in which he mentions having given instructions to liberate prisoners in Patagones (Patagonia) and Malvinas Islands so they can join the Andes army.

 The document is one more of hundreds that Argentina has been surfacing to support its claim over the Falkland Islands, with particular emphasis under the current government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

The announcement of the letter to be exhibited at the Malvinas Museum was made during a special ceremony by Minister of Culture Teresa Parodi who described it as “an essential document to build on our sovereignty” adding that this means “the Liberator was aware of our Malvinas Islands, even before they were usurped by the British in 1833”.

The letter was originally stored in the archives of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The letter is evidence that while becoming a free nation Argentina was exercising sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands. That is why it is so important to have the document here at the Museum in a living space dedicated to our claim over those territories” indicated Jorge Giles, Director of the Museum.

Daniel Filmus, head of the Malvinas affairs desk in the Argentine foreign ministry said that the letter throws out the “self determination” argument from Britain to justify the possession of the Malvinas, since the population in the Islands was transplanted by an occupying power and is not original to the Islands“.

”Only recently to justify self-determination, the British organized a referendum and asked a group of British citizens if they wished to remain British, what a question!“ said Filmus. However ”Argentine democracy will continue to pursue its claim through diplomacy and other peaceful means such as negotiations and dialogue“.

But, ”we must always remember the sacrifice of those men who gave their lives in the 1982 war to recover the Islands. A just cause defended by a genocide dictatorship which also bankrupted Argentina with a policy of indebtedness“.

Further on Mario Volpe a Malvinas war veteran and deputy director of the museum gave some more background on Argentina's claim going back to the Spanish colony.

”In 1667 Spain built a royal fortress in the Islands. On 20 May 1810, Cornelio Saavedra as president of the first Junta (25 May 1810) orders that a ship regularly links with the Malvinas Islands, and the letter from San Martín comes to confirm this, and obviously our rights“, said Volpe.

The government official recalled that President Cristina Fernandez showed the letter to the UN Decolonization Committee as evidence that ”the Liberator of the peoples of the South was referring to the Malvinas Islands as a territory belonging to the United Provinces“.

Another Malvinas veteran and currently journalist Edgardo Esteban underlined the significance of the ”Malvinas cause for the affirmation of Latin American integration“. He added that in 1982 youth went to a war that marked their lives but ”nowadays we live in a country where we can demand and exercise our rights, express our ideas and recalling San Martin, 'let us be free, the rest follows'”.

During the ceremony, folklore groups made a display of local dances followed by the recitation of poems from Chile's Pablo Neruda and from Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges dedicated to San Martin.

Finally there was an unveiling of the pedestal in the museum where a copy of the letter linking San Martin with the Malvinas Islands will be exhibited followed by a brief parade of the Granaderos Regiment which played the Malvinas and San Lorenza marches.

The occasion for the Sunday ceremony was the 164th anniversary of the death in France of General Jose de San Martin. Born in Argentina, trained as military officer in Spain, he fought against Napoleon forces and on his return to South American joined the independence movement.

He is remembered mainly for the Andes army with which he crossed the mighty cordillera and helped liberate Chile, later Peru, and eventually Ecuador, where he met with the other great South American Liberator Simon Bolivar.

However on his return from the military campaign and fed up with Buenos Aires politics and intrigues he left for France.


Categories: Politics, Argentina.

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  • Buzzsaw

    HA, Ha, HA So Spain had a few prisons in a few far off places, whats your point?

    “The letter is evidence that while becoming a free nation Argentina was exercising sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands.”
    Did you also exercise sovereignty over Patagonia at the time, as that was also mentioned in the letter? and if so please show a map from that time, that shows Argentinian borders incorporating those two areas mentioned?

    After all, it is all about territorial integrity is it not.

    They must have kept a few things back for the masses for when the 'shit really hits the fan'. I guess they have decided it is time to deflect the people once again

    Aug 18th, 2014 - 07:25 am 0
  • CKurze30k

    “...even before they were usurped by the British in 1833”

    Why do they continue to repeat this lie? In 1833, Britain was the rightful holder of sovereignty. Argentina was the one attempting to usurp the islands by installing an illegal garrison and colony.
    ”...since the population in the Islands was transplanted by an occupying power...”
    Technically true. The population was transplanted by *Argentina*. When the garrison was removed by the rightful owners, the civilians were invited to stay.

    If Argentina wants to negotiate over the Falkland Islands, they should start by agreeing to stop lying.

    Aug 18th, 2014 - 07:27 am 0
  • LEPRecon

    Mr Filmus seems unable to comprehend simple concepts...such as Britain holding sovereignty from 1690 onwards, reaffirmed in 1746.

    Now correct me if I'm wrong, but chronologically 1690 and 1746 happened BEFORE 1816, so in 1816 the rebellious Spanish colony was trying to usurp British territory.

    And unlike the Argentines we have actual PROOF that we were there 1st.

    But again it is all a moot point. The only thing that matters today, in the 21st century, is international law...the UN Charter which states that all people have the right to self-determination. And before our La Campora trolls leap on board the Falkland Islanders ARE a people, and the UN has NEVER defined what constitutes a people, and they are the only ones that matter, not Argentinas fascist views.

    Aug 18th, 2014 - 07:42 am 0
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