The Argentine government declassified a secret decree from the latest military dictatorship which authorized and funded an operation for the “effective and peaceful” occupation of one of the South Atlantic islands, occupied by the UK , in what was considered a first step to the ultimate goal of taking over the Falkland Islands.
According to Secret Decree 2085, from 18 July 1977, and signed by then head of the military General Junta, Jorge Rafael Videla, the ministry of Defense through the Navy's Command was authorized to continue and complete the logistic tasks and aspects for the mounting and necessary equipment leading to the effective and peaceful occupation of the island of Thule, part of South Sandwich islands.
Through Operation Sun, Argentina will reaffirm with scientific activities its rights and sovereignty over the South Atlantic islands occupied by the United Kingdom, added the decree.
The foreign ministry considered these activities as necessary in support of Argentine foreign policy reaffirming National Sovereignty, underlined the secret decree.
The first steps of Operation Sun had started during 1975 and 1976.
The decree also provides funds from the 1977 Budget destined to Jurisdiction 47 of the Navy's commander in chief, some 300 million Argentine Pesos and US$ 100.000.
The idea of landing at Thule island allegedly dates back to 1974 and was first suggested to then president Juan Peron, by captain Juan Jose Lombardo (who later played a role as head of South Atlantic Theatre of Operations during the Falklands conflict). The purpose of such an action in the island of Thule was to test and assess the UK's reaction.
However Operation Sun did not receive the kickoff and full support until 1976, when a new military Junta was again in control of Argentina.
British authorities turned a blind eye on the incident, and the Corbeta Uruguay base, but this encouraged the military Junta to continue with its long term plan to take over the Falklands in 1982. It was finally in the aftermath of the conflict in 1982 that the Argentines were dislodged and the Thule base destroyed.
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The ClaimAug 29th, 2019 - 09:11 am +2
Argentina’s claim to the Antarctic encompassing South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland Islands, South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia evolved under Peron in the mid-forties. Argentina’s claims rest on four principal bases of international law:-
(a)Continued maintenance of the Laurie Island weather station in South Orkney’s since 1904.
(b) Under the doctrine of uti possidetis juris (UPJ) it succeeded in valid titles over Antarctica upon independence from Spain. Historical support for this contention rests with the Papal Bull of 1493 and the Treaty of Tortdesillas whereby Pope Alexander VI divided up the Western Hemisphere between Portugal and Spain.
(c) Geographical proximity and
(d) Geographical affinity because the Andes mountains form a continuous chain extending from the south of Argentina under the Southern Ocean to the Antarctic Continent. (Antarctica and the Law of the Sea, Joyner, C, C, George Washington University, Martinus Nijhoff, p44-45, 1992).