Buenos Aires daily La Nación is in the midst of a controversy and has suffered a barrage of criticisms following its announcement that the yacht La Sanmartiniana, closely linked to Kirchnerism militant activities, currently in the Malvinas Islands will return to Argentina.
Basically the complaints, with different tones, refer to the fact that the vessel is returning to Argentina, and since Malvinas belong to Argentina this is interpreted as highly offensive and ignoring facts.
According to La Nacion, the Fundacion Interactiva para promover la Cultura del Agua, FIPCA, the militant organization which owns the vessel, negotiated in Malvinas the return of the yacht, apparently next summer, and to this effect the captain of the vessel when she was abandoned, Javier Vazquez, and two others, visited the Falklands last July.
As can be recalled La Sanmartiniana was found abandoned and adrift in Falklands waters last October and towed to Stanley where she is docked since, having suffered significant damages which need repairing if she is to return to Argentina.
Apparently FIPCA contacts with the Falklands government started last December, and all the paper work has been completed and approved. What remains is the bill for the towing rescue and docking time and custody, which was approved by the Executive Council.
Although no numbers were mentioned, La Nacion published the bill amounts to approximately the cost of a car according to FIPCA sources.
The other issue questioned is political, given FIPCA's objectives referred to the South Atlantic, negotiating with the Falklands government can be interpreted as an admittance of Falklands' sovereignty, which is against the charter of FIPCA.
La Nacion says that the original purpose of La Sanmartiniana's tour was to call in Argentine port all along the south to create awareness of the maritime culture and spread Peronist left wing nationalist ideals.
However the yacht, launched in Argentina in 1982, had a stumbling start when it faced a storm and strong westerly winds on its first day of sailing on leaving the extreme south of the country. Likewise Captain Vázquez allegedly did not have much maritime experience.
They were finally rescued by a fishing vessel, San Arawa II, which towed them with the idea of overcoming the storm. However that night Vazquez and crew said they were without energy and hypothermia and requested to board the fishing vessel. So they did while the fishing vessel kept towing La Sanmartiniana until she snapped loose into the middle of the night in the South Atlantic. This happened in September and Falklands FPV Protegat rescued her in early October abandoned and adrift.
Captain Vazquez said the yacht needs new sails, and checking the rudder and hull since it apparently has some minor leaks. The idea is to make these first repairs and then in three days dock and full repairs either a Puerto Deseado or Caleta Oliva.
However he admits an additional problem: Falklands government will most probably request that the vessel before leaving has the necessary sailing certificates, which are expired.
FIPCA is considered a militant group close to La Campora, headed by ex president Cristina Fernandez son, Maximo Kirchner and has been involved in campaigning for the group.