As a day of great celebration, Argentine ambassador in the UK, Alicia Castro described the festivities for the 150th anniversary of Welsh settlers arrival to Patagonia, taking place in Chubut with the attendance of Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones, Argentine cabinet ministers and members of the Welsh-Argentine community.
”I'm very glad to be here (Chubut), I'm really proud of representing in the UK a country which has given Welsh settlers a new homeland said ambassador Castro who immediately considered a great diplomatic success the fact that for the first time in ten years a top British official is in Argentina.
The presence of First minister Jones is a significant success for Chubut, and a day of great celebration for our nation and our people underlined the ambassador.
Castro also pointed out it was a unique piece of history, and pride for Argentina, because 150 years ago Welsh settlers left Liverpool, some for the US, others to Canada, but in the only place where they managed to preserve their identity, customs and language was in Argentina.
We also know that when the Welsh settlers arrived 150 years ago they fraternized with the original peoples, and they called the Tehuelches 'our brothers from the desert' from where we also have to learn lessons of giving and receiving,
Likewise the ambassador underlined that for the first time in many years no British official of the rank or Wales First Minister came to Argentina and I think this has to do with the policy of our government at national and provincial level, so we can establish a friendly and fruitful dialogue
We belong to a region, not only us, but all the countries from the region dedicated to peace and we are always claiming for a peaceful and diplomatic dialogue with the United Kingdom.
She added that the Welsh in Patagonia are a perfect example of coexistence and respect, and of the opportunities that our country extends to the British and the descendents of British people.
As to the 150th anniversary celebrations, Ms Castro said that from the embassy in London there has been an ongoing effort to promote the event to the rest of the UK, not limiting it to Wales and Argentina, and with that purpose a photo exhibition of the Welsh community in Chubut was displayed at the parliament in Cardiff, and also at the British parliament in London, with pictures from an Argentine photographer working in that province.
This is, may I say, a wonderful and unique example in the world of coexistence with the Welsh, who are now Argentine citizens and have been able to preserve their identity, their customs and language.
As a country it is a fantastic example that we have no hostility at all against the British because the Welsh live in Patagonia as brothers”.
Finally Castro mentioned that Chubut governor Martin Buzzi and First Minister had agreed on the importance of a welfare state in helping with social benefits and promoting social equality. She also mentioned that going to university in the UK is very expensive: at least £10.000 while in Argentina it was free and in Chubut province students don't pay bus fares.
First minister Carwyn Jones arrived in Trelew on Sunday evening with UK ambassador in Buenos Aires, John Freeman, the head of Wales British Council, Aled Eirug and the director of International Affairs from the Welsh Assembly Ifona Deely.