During his participation Wednesday at the ceremony marking the commencement of the 2023-2024 Antarctic campaign, Economy Minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa praised the role he envisions for the Armed Forces “in the defense of Argentine sovereignty” which constitutes a big challenge for the years to come from a “bicontinental” viewpoint.
”In recent years, Argentina has discussed the role of the Armed Forces (FFAA), but that is a discussion of the past. The future has to be that of working together, Massa stressed as the descendants of 1982 veterans were decreed to be entitled to inherit their ancestors' war pensions. We feel the conviction of having armed forces that respect, value, and defend the democratic order, Massa also pointed out.
We are sure that in this respect and this construction, we have the responsibility to build the defense of our sovereignty on the basis of a greater professionalization with the new challenges imposed by global disputes in these new times, he added.
I have no doubt that our Armed Forces have a central role because new hypotheses of conflicts appear in the discussion of the wealth of each country and its exploitation as a way of defending sovereignty, the minister went on.
Argentina's sovereignty in the South Atlantic, in its islands and on the Antarctic continent, understanding the bicontinental logic of the country, poses a great challenge for the coming years, Massa elaborated while foreseeing that the Armed Forces will have an enormous responsibility in the work of defending our fish and mineral wealth in our platform, in the South Atlantic and the Antarctic continent.
The coming world is a world where the commercial battle will determine which are the factors and above all which are the strategies of each power to define the riches, he also stated. To think about the defense of national resources ignoring the Armed Forces is not to have a strategic vision, he insisted.
We still have a huge task to go through because we have taken some steps in the salary recovery, but there is still a long way to go, he also admitted.
Regarding the summer Antarctic campaign with the loading of the Almirante Irizar icebreaker, Massa said that today begins one of the most important tasks of the Argentine State, represented not only in its Armed Forces but also in the combination with scientists who represent the new challenge of these times in terms of sovereignty.
Hence, the State guaranteed this Antarctic campaign because national sovereignty is also a central value for the construction of the identity of our homeland despite the ongoing economic crisis.
Massa also called for a minute's silence in memory of the 44 crew members of the ARA San Juan submarine who drowned in the Atlantic Ocean six years ago Wednesday.
The South Atlantic is growing at this stage because of its values and riches, with renewable or non-renewable resources, said Minister of Defense Jorge Taiana, who affirmed that those waters also have their value because of the transatlantic passage to the Pacific and the access to Antarctica.
The official also stressed that our defense of the Malvinas Islands was also based on the national interest and to guarantee our access to Antarctica because the same British who usurp the islands also want to keep the Argentine sector of the Antarctic continent that by law, and by history corresponds to us.”
After the traditional ceremony, the loading of supplies from the icebreaker Almirante Irizar began, with 312 people, including military and scientific personnel to be transported.