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Montevideo, September 30th 2023 - 17:14 UTC



Argentine literary critic says Falklands are British, sparks rejection and controversy

Thursday, August 5th 2021 - 09:59 UTC
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Sarlo could not care less about the reactions her words could ignite Sarlo could not care less about the reactions her words could ignite
 Filmus pointed out it had been former President Raúl Alfonsín's idea to add the Malvinas issue to the Constitution. Filmus pointed out it had been former President Raúl Alfonsín's idea to add the Malvinas issue to the Constitution.

Statements by Argentine literary and cultural critic Beatriz Sarlo who Tuesday said that the Falkland Islands were “British territory” sparked nationwide controversies about which she defiantly warned she “cared very little.”

Sarlo's words in a TV interview came in the aftermath of similar remarks days earlier by historian Sabrina Ajmechet, who is to run in the upcoming primary elections within the opposition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) alliance of former President Mauricio Macri to vie for a seat in Congress.

“When people say 'they are Argentine' they do not sit for a minute to think, if they are Argentine, if they are not Argentine, or what the Malvinas are, a territory that resembles southern Scotland.“ She also dubbed the 1982 landing as “a national psychotic act” and “an invasion, claiming lands that apparently belonged to Argentina in the third decade of the 19th century, that is, when Argentina was not unified as a country and had no Constitution.”

She added that the Malvinas issue was still agitated these days “to do some national propaganda. (...) I care very little about the controversy that is generated with a promalvinero. I would send him to live six months in the Malvinas and work there.“

Foreign Minister Felipe Solá Wednesday insisted on Argentina's “inalienable claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands,” which “is a constitutional mandate, recognized by the United Nations” as well ”a moral duty to the former combatants and those who have fallen“ in the 1982 war.

Solá added on social media that the Malvinas, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands were “our homeland” and that “we are not going to give up onits defense.”

Malvinas and South Antarctic Secretary Daniel Filmus claimed Sarlo's words showed “enormous ignorance.” He also invoked the Constitutional mandate regarding the Islands.

”It is not that someone has an opinion regarding the Malvinas but that the Constitution establishes it, it is also a huge ignorance about history,“ Filmus said. He also recalled that ”Argentina had appointed a governor before,“ and that later ”there was a military usurpation.“ The former Education Minister insisted that there was also ”a lack of knowledge of geography“ on the part of the writer.

”Congress also passed a year ago a law that extends the continental shelf also of the Malvinas, Georgia and South Sandwich Islands“ and remarked the ”ignorance of the feelings of Argentines [of any gender] who gave their lives for this.“

Thence -Filmus went on- ”for all this, it is of unprecedented gravity and it is not strange that (those expressions) were known after the tweets of the candidate and the statements of former [security] minister [and JxC Chairwoman] Bullrich.“

Filmus also pointed out that it had been an initiative by former President Raúl Alfonsín to add the Malvinas issue to the Constitution during the 1994 reform.

The Secretary also underlined that the revolutionary Junta established in Buenos Aires on May 25, 1810, which led to the 1816 Declaration of Independence, had provided for the payment of wages to the Spanish military garrison “who had been there.”

Malvinas and Islas del Atlántico Sur Museum Director and 1982 veteran Edgardo Esteban wrote on Twitter: “How it hurts that an intellectual reference like @BeatrizSarlo says such a barbarity. She has no respect even for the dead buried in our islands. Please, a little dignity. Forever Malvinas Argentine,” he added.

Hugo Robert, Vice President of Cecim, a war veterans' center in the city of La Plata, said Sarlo's words were “outrageous.” He added that “Sarlo was one of the 19 pseudo-intellectuals who signed a petition for self-determination” and hinted she had been paid to say what she said. “There is a lot of money from the United Kingdom embassy to finance all this,” he pointed out as he recalled that “Sarlo's sayings are in line with Ajmechet, Bullrich and former President Mauricio Macri,” who in the 1990s questioned the usefulness of the sovereignty claim.

Chubut war veteran leader Guillermo Huircapán labeled Sarlo as “an intellectual with an Anglophile mentality who deserves our rejection” and demanded that “at least she have respect for the families of Ricardo Austin, Honorio Ortega, Pedro Torres or Mario Almonacid, to name just some of the Chubut people who died in the confrontation.”

Back in April this year, Bullrich suggested that the Falklands could be handed over to Pfizer as collateral for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines. ”Pfizer did not ask for changes in the law (on vaccines), the only thing they asked for was a guarantee [of payment], like they asked every other country the world, which is reasonable.”

Bullrich said the laboratoiry had not requested any piece of land in exchange for the immunizer, “... well the Malvinas Islands we could have given them...“ The former Security Minister made those remarks on La Nación +, the same TV station on which Sarlo spoke on Tuesday.

The historia Ajmechet had voiced her belief that to think that the “Malvinas are Argentine is irrational; it is sentimental.” Bullrich was asked to withdraw her endorsement to Ajmechet's candidacy but the party leader decilined to oblige. (Source TELAM)


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  • Mike Summers

    Just nice to see the lady has felt she can express her opinion, whether you agree with her or not. As it happens I do. Not much surprise there.

    Aug 06th, 2021 - 04:24 pm +2
  • Guillote

    a minority think it, but they are very few

    Aug 06th, 2021 - 01:34 am +1
  • Swede

    “there is not a force that can sit the UK to the negotiation table” For years (if not decades) the Special Committee has been talking about “ finding a peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute as soon as possible”. But what is really a “peaceful solution”? It has been a de facto peace in the area for more than 39 years now. And the BFSAI are the peace-keeping force deterring Argentina from doing something stupid once again. What is there to “negotiate” about? Time and procedure for the hand-over of the islands are the only things Argentina can discuss. But that is of course not a “peaceful solution” in the eyes of the people living there. No. The only way to get a lasting peace in the region is for Argentina to drop the claim and negotiate a new “Convention of Settlement” to “re-establish the perfect relations of friendship” as in 1849. Just nagging and nagging and nagging year after year will give them nothing.

    Aug 07th, 2021 - 09:25 pm +1
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