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Montevideo, May 20th 2024 - 09:35 UTC



Cameron's Falklands visit, 'incredibly important for the people and their freedom'

Monday, February 19th 2024 - 12:54 UTC
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       MLA Teslyn Barkman, “no sovereignty is up for discussion at all, it's about the people and that we remain free.” MLA Teslyn Barkman, “no sovereignty is up for discussion at all, it's about the people and that we remain free.”

Falklands elected lawmaker and currently president of the UKOTA political council, MLA Teslyn Barkman was interviewed by The Times radio on the visit of Lord Cameron and the Island's current situation with neighboring Argentina's sovereignty claims over the “Malvinas Islands”.

MLA Teslyn started by saying how pleased the Falklands was with the visit of the UK Foreign Secretary, “it's incredibly important to the people in Falklands to know that our freedom, our government, our security continue to have a strong support from the UK government”. Furthermore, “no sovereignty is up for discussion at all, it's about the people and that we remain free. Unfortunately the president of Argentina is sticking to the traditional lines which undermines our human rights, it's unfortunately not a surprise.”

Times Radio then ask in what terminal terms has the Falklands human rights been undermined.

”Strong propaganda to try and convince the world that we are an 'implanted people,' and the truth is that we are the only people of the Falkland Islands that have been here, (Islands had no aboriginal population), throughout history, and Argentina, certainly post 1982, when they invaded our home and set landmines all around our towns, and they lost the war, and we are very grateful to the UK for coming to our rescue as part of the UK family; but since the war they have been on a campaign to set up illegal economic sanctions, they block our air space, they threaten companies who get involved in trading with the Falklands, for instance. So it's a difficult situation to live in, but you can't remove the people from their home by force.“

And, how difficult is it for the Falklands to trade, what difficulties are faced?

We are very proud of our fisheries and for example we've got an MSC certified fisheries, and this allows us to have a trade relation which has the Falklands certainly above the standards of many international fisheries out there, and we work really hard on by-catch mitigation and we invest a lot in science and in understanding the climate and the effects on our fish stocks.

But some of the unfortunate laws that Argentina has come up with mean that they refuse to exchange scientific data, which could be standard on fisheries stocks that we share, and we obviously have a maritime zone that straddles each other, but also we have the only area of high seas in the world that does not have a reasonable framework around it, so this maritime zone, out of Argentina and out of the Falklands, unfortunately is the target of hundreds of vessels operating completely unregulated just to suck everything out of the ocean. So this is something the Falklands are determined to put on, a kind of international magnifying glass around so that people can be aware, but again unfortunately our nearest neighbor is trying to undermine our very existence with this kind of things become more difficult to achieve”.

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